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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 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. 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.


Review Date: 10/9/2012
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington. Louis S. Liou, MD, PhD, Chief of Urology, Cambridge Health Alliance, Visiting Assistant Professor of Surgery, Harvard Medical School. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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