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Penis care (uncircumcised)

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. This may make it difficult or painful to pull back the foreskin later in life.

Teenage boys should be taught to gently retract the foreskin during bathing and clean the penis well. The area should be dried completely after cleaning. It is very important to pull the foreskin back over the head of the penis after cleaning and drying. Otherwise, the foreskin can slightly squeeze the head of the penis, causing swelling and pain (paraphimosis). This needs medical care.

References

Elder JS. Anomalies of the penis and urethra. In: Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, Stanton BF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19thed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 538.

Buescher JJ, Bland H. Care of the newborn. In: Rakel RE, ed. Textbook of Family Medicine. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 22.

Updated: 10/2/2013

Scott Miller, MD, Urologist in private practice in Atlanta, Georgia. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.


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