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Chemical Urethritis

This is a very common problem with girls and sometimes boys. The most common symptom is pain on urination (dysuria). Therefore, people think they usually have a urinary track infection (UTI). About nine out of 10 times they do not have a UTI. We will always get a urinalysis and urine culture to make sure. There could be a couple of red blood cells or white blood cells in the urine but the culture will be negative. It is always important to get the urinalysis and urine culture because you cannot tell by looking.

The most common culprits of this problem are bubble baths, scented bath soaps or gel’s and deodorant soaps, swimming pools, hot tub’s, scented laundry detergents, fabric softener, and dryer sheets. Basically, anything that has a color or scent can cause the problem.

The solution is eliminating the chemical. Also, a vinegar bath, run 6 inches of water in the tub add a cup of vinegar and let them play in it for a few minutes. Do this a couple of times a day for a few days. Pyridium can help, it comes in different OTC names, but It only masks the symptoms. It will turn the urine a pinky-orange color. Should be taken on a full stomach. And totally ruins the results of a urinalysis, but not the culture.

In summary, If your child has pain on urination, they should be evaluated and get a urinalysis and urine culture. It is important to get the test and not ignore the symptoms, because a bladder infection can get worse and potentially move up to the kidney. In my experience, nine out of 10 times it turns out to be chemical urethritis, and the most likely culprit is bubble baths.

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