VULVITIS AND VAGINITIS
Vulvitis is inflammation of the external organs
of generation in girls.
Symptoms.--Itching and rubbing of the genitals
attract the mother's attention, if she has not noticed redness and
sensitiveness when bathing the child. The inflammation may be very slight, and
may possibly be overlooked, starting, as it does, in the folds of the tissues.
This is especially true of fat children. The inflammation may be severe enough
to involve all the external vulva.
Treatment.--Cleansing the parts three or four
times a day with quite warm water. The first washing of a morning should be
thorough, with a mild soap and careful rinsing, so that there will not be any
irritation from the effect of the soap left on. After thorough washing, a very
small amount of vaseline or a bland face-cream may be
gently rubbed on; then dust the parts with talcum powder. If the irritated
parts are not involving too much tissue, one more dressing of the same character
in the evening may be sufficient; but in severe vulvitis the washing should be
every three hours, following with a gentle drying and dusting with powder. The
first washing for the morning may be as recommended, bathing with a little soap
and water. Where it is necessary to bathe the parts every three hours, it may
be that the inflammation will be so severe that it would not be prudent to use
soap in the water for more than one bathing a day. The rest of the baths should
be simply of warm water. Use cotton to apply the water, or very soft gauze.
Rough handling should be avoided.
Vaginitis.--This is inflammation of the vagina
in infants and children. It may be an extension of the vulvitis, especially in
children large enough to injure themselves with rubbing and scratching.
It is possible that pinworms may be a cause, coming
from the rectum. A child that is troubled with pinworms, if the derangement is
not overcome, may have the vagina infested with these little worms, causing
vaginitis or symptoms of the same.
Symptoms.--The symptoms of vaginitis are redness
and irritation, causing the child to be irritable and endeavoring to get relief
by rubbing or scratching. The mother, on examination, will find a white
discharge oozing from the vagina. This means a little ulceration. A yellow or
milky discharge must have a certain amount of pus to give it color. This, of
course, means that the inflammation has extended to a slight ulcerative stage.
The mucous membrane is denuded, and ulceration is starting up.
Treatment.--The child may be treated the same as
for vulvitis, with the addition of using a douche once or twice a day. Put
quite warm water into a fountain syringe, and use the smallest rectal tube to
introduce into the vagina, thoroughly cleansing the tube before using. The
water need not be medicated--cleanliness is the only thing necessary. The
douching must be thorough, and used until the child is well. Feeding under
these circumstances should be light. The child should not be allowed to eat
heavily--in fact, should be confined to milk three times a day, and a little
orange juice. The milk can be taken three times a day at regular meal times,
and an ounce of orange juice and an ounce of water after each feeding of milk.
When children are nervous and irritable, they should be
kept in bed until normal. This rule should apply at all times when children are
irritable or peevish and hard to please. When they have a white line around
their mouths, or at the sides of the nose, keep food away from them until they
are feeling fine, as indicated by playfulness.