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Penis care (uncircumcised)

Alternative Names

Uncircumcised penis - bathing; Cleaning an uncircumcised penis

Information

An uncircumcised penis is one with its foreskin intact. An infant boy with an uncircumcised penis requires no special care. Normal bathing is enough to keep it clean.

It is NOT recommended to pull back (retract) the foreskin for cleaning during infancy and childhood. 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 constrict the head of the penis, causing swelling and pain, called paraphimosis. This requires medical treatment.

References

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.


Review Date: 9/22/2009
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine; Louis S. Liou, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Urology, Department of Surgery, Boston University School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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