Parent Time

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.

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.

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.

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 family tradition!

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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