Vulvovaginitis is an inflammation of both the vulva and the vagina. The vulva is a female’s outer genital area that includes the labia and the opening of the vagina and urethra. The vulva and vagina of a young girl who has not gone through puberty can easily become infected and irritated.

In young girls, the vagina is close to the anus, and the vulva lacks the protective labial tissue and pubic hair of an adult. Also, as children become more independent, they often lack the skills and knowledge to effectively clean themselves well, resulting in poor hygiene. Children with vulvovaginitis may complain of pain, itching, soreness, redness and burning around the vagina, or vaginal discharge and pain when urinating.