Uncircumcised Penis Care
One of the procedures typically performed on newborn boys is
that of circumcision. Circumcision is usually performed at the
hospital right after birth, although in the case of Jewish
infants, there may be a "bris" or a special rite where the
baby is circumcised by a Mohel, an individual trained in the
ritual of circumcision. If a Mohel isn't available, a Jewish
doctor may be asked to perform the rite, which is a solemn and
joyous ceremony. A bris is always held eight days after the
birth of the baby. Non-Jewish babies are circumcised by
doctors, usually before leaving the hospital.
As far as anyone can
tell, the secular reason for circumcision has to do with the
aesthetics of the male body: some prefer the look of a
circumcised member to a natural one.
In circumcision, the foreskin is removed from the underlying
male genitalia. There are no particular benefits to the
procedure, but it is traditional in most Western societies.
Some people opt to not have their boys circumcised, citing
it as cruel and unnecessary, something that has long been
done without any particular reason. Some people claim that
circumcision is more hygienic, but that isn't especially
true. Although there is rarely a visible scar, the fact that
it does cause the infant pain is enough for many people to
leave their children uncircumcised.
Oddly, circumcision is an
area of child-raising that can cause dissent among family
members. Refusing to have a circumcision in a family where it's
always been done without question causes distress to
grandparents, who may have unfounded notions about its
importance. Circumcising a baby in a family where it's
considered unkind can also cause hard feelings. Even in the most
private part of your child's infancy, your family will have an
opinion, so get your ducks in a row if you plan to buck your
There are no special precautions in caring for an uncircumcised
boy. Bathing is done as usual, and warm, soapy water keeps the
area clean. It's important not to ever force the foreskin back.
In infants, the foreskin covers the area completely, but over
time it will retract. The body does this naturally, so to force
it back early can tear the skin and cause pain and infection.
In a few cases, there may not be enough room for the baby to
urinate comfortably: in this case, there may be redness or
swelling and discomfort during urination. This should be
addressed by your doctor.
Once a child is old enough to bathe himself, he should be taught
to retract the foreskin and wash underneath it to prevent old
skin cells from collecting. Staying clean is the main avenue to
maintaining the health of the foreskin.
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