What causes candida vulvovaginitis?

Many triggers can cause an infection in the vagina and vulval areas. The most common cause is bacteria. The following can also cause vulvoganitis:

environmental factors
sexually transmitted infections
exposure to allergens
chemical irritants

Certain bacteria can multiply and can cause vulvovaginitis. These bacteria include Streptococcus, Gardnerella, and Staphylococcus. A bacterial infection can cause a grayish-white discharge that smells fishy.

One of the most common causes of vulvovaginitis is Candida albicans. This yeast infection can cause genital itching and a thick, white vaginal discharge that is similar to cottage cheese. A yeast infection often follows the use of antibiotics. Antibiotics can kill the antifungal bacteria that normally live in the vagina. This can lead to a yeast infection.

Viruses that can cause vulvovaginitis are typically sexually transmitted. These include herpes and human papillomavirus (HPV).

Pinworms, scabies, and lice can cause inflammation of the vulva and vagina.

Environmental factors
Poor hygiene and allergens can cause this condition. Tight clothing can rub against the skin and create irritation. Irritated skin is more susceptible to vulvovaginitis than normal skin. Irritation can also delay recovery.

Sexually transmitted infections
The sexually transmitted infection (STI) trichomonas vaginitis can also cause vulvovaginitis. This causes genital discomfort, itching, and heavy discharge. The discharge can be yellow, green, or gray. It often has a strong odor. Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and herpes can also cause vaginitis. These infections in a child might indicate abuse.

Some chemicals can cause vulvovaginitis. These often appear in the form of

soaps, feminine sprays, perfume, and vaginal contraceptives. Common chemicals that can cause an allergic reaction include:

sodium sulfate
If any of these ingredients are in your soaps or laundry detergent, you may want to switch to a hypoallergenic or fragrance-free brand. This can keep your infection from recurring.

Vulvovaginitis is the most common gynecological condition in prepubescent girls. Doctors believe this is due to low estrogen levels.

When puberty begins, the vagina becomes more acidic and the infections usually stop. Prior to puberty, the infection can be treated with daily bathing, steroids, and low-dose, topical antibiotics. The child should also be advised on proper bathroom hygiene. Wearing loose-fitting cotton underwear can keep the infection from occurring again.