Navigating the decisions that come with parenthood can be challenging. After having a son, one such decision that arises is whether to choose circumcision or not. It’s a decision that needs careful consideration, weighing pros and cons. Should parents opt against it, they must then acquire the knowledge on how to maintain their child’s hygiene effectively. This is where these tips for taking care of an uncircumcised penis come in, offering guidance for this crucial aspect of childcare.
Even though circumcision has medical benefits, it is not regularly advised for newborns, according to a report from a task committee convened by the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2012. According to Ronald Gray, M.D., a professor of epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, this could be because fewer insurance companies are paying for the operation.
Based on cultural, ethical, and religious norms, the decision to forego circumcision is one that is fully supported. Those who choose not to have their child circumcised, however, should be aware of the right ways to clean their child’s genitalia. Here is some advice for keeping your penis healthy and uncut.
Babies Without Circumcision: Special Needs
The foreskin of a newborn is totally joined to the penis. Later in life, usually by age five, but occasionally not until puberty, the foreskin will retract. Rarely, within days or weeks of birth, your child’s foreskin may start to retract.
Bleeding and pain could result from improperly washing the foreskin of an uncircumcised newborn. In order to avoid pain, bleeding, or ripping, the foreskin should never be pushed back on the shaft with force. Since the foreskin is still connected to the penis, there is no need to force it back to prevent the buildup of bacteria or dirt.
Urologist Dr. Vanessa Elliott of UCP Urology of Central PA, Inc. recommends keeping your baby’s genital area clean by wiping the penis and foreskin during diaper changes and washing it gently with soap and water after each bath. Using cotton swabs or antiseptics, both of which can irritate the skin, is unnecessary.
If the foreskin is red or your child complains that it hurts or itches, you should make an appointment with a doctor. Possible signs of inflammation or infection. If your child’s foreskin is excessively tight and urine accumulates inside it, go to your doctor.
How to Treat a Penis with a Retracted Foreskin
Smegma is little white pimples that might appear under your baby’s foreskin just after it begins to retract. His foreskin is shedding the cells that originally connected it to his penis.
When bathing your child, gently pull the foreskin back from the penis’s apex, but don’t force it any further than it will go on its own. Because of its fragility, the foreskin should never be pulled back further than it naturally wants.
After the foreskin has completely retracted, your child should be shown how to wash daily under the foreskin. To help your son learn how to properly care for his foreskin, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists suggests the following:
- Slowly yanking it away from the penis’s apex.
- Washing with soap and warm water the inner fold of the foreskin and the penile head.
- After bathing, it is important to pat dry the penis and foreskin.
- In this position, the foreskin is retracted back over the penis’s top.
When to Seek Medical Help
Foreskin infections like balanitis can occur because the foreskin completely envelops the penis, even the very tip. Common in children under the age of 5, balanitis is easily prevented and treated.
Keeping the foreskin clean and dry is the most crucial part of foreskin maintenance. An ideal bacterial or yeast infection habitat is created when moisture from urine or perspiration is not thoroughly cleansed.
Most skin infections are moderate and can be treated at home with a simple washing with warm water and mild soap, drying, and then dressing the affected region. The following signs may appear as an illness worsens:
- Swelling and redness.
- Poop from the penile tip.
- Discomfort in the area of the foreskin crease.
- Putrid stench.
- Reduced edema by tightening the foreskin.
If you notice any signs of infection or pain, it’s important to contact a doctor immediately.