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Penis care (uncircumcised)

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Alternative Names

Uncircumcised penis - bathing; Cleaning an uncircumcised penis

Information

An uncircumcised penis has its foreskin intact. An infant boy with an uncircumcised penis does not need special care. Normal bathing is enough to keep it clean.

Do not pull back (retract) the foreskin for cleaning in infants and children. This may injure the foreskin and cause scarring that could make retraction painful and difficult later in life.

Teenage boys should be taught to gently retract the foreskin during bathing and clean the penis thoroughly. After cleaning the penis, dry the area completely. Then, it is very important to pull the foreskin back over the head of the penis. Otherwise, the foreskin can slightly squeeze the head of the penis, causing swelling and pain (paraphimosis). This needs medical treatment.

References

Elder JS. Disorders and anomalies of the scrotal contents. In: Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, Stanton BF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Sauders Elsevier; 2011:chap 539.

Buescher JJ, Bland H. Care of the newborn. In: Rakel RE, ed. Textbook of Family Medicine. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 30.

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