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The Uncircumcised Penis - how to take care of the foreskin

In the first few months, you should simply clean and bathe your baby's uncircumcised penis with soap and water, like the rest of the diaper area. Initially, the foreskin is connected by tissue to the glans, or head, of the penis, so you should not try to retract it. No cleansing of the penis with cotton swabs or antiseptics is necessary, but you should watch your baby urinate occasionally to make sure that the hole in the foreskin is large enough to permit a normal stream.

When to call the pediatrician:

If the stream consistently is no more than a trickle, or if your baby seems to have some discomfort while urinating, consult your pediatrician.

The doctor will tell you when the foreskin has separated and can be retracted safely. This will not be for several months or years and should never be forced; if you were to force the foreskin to retract before it is ready, you could cause painful bleeding and tears in the skin. After this separation occurs, retract the foreskin occasionally to gently cleanse the end of the penis underneath.

What to do as your son gets older:

As your son gets older, you will need to teach him what he must do to urinate and wash his penis. Teach him to clean his foreskin by:

Gently pulling it back away from the head of the penis.

Rinsing the head of the penis and inside fold of the foreskin with soap and warm water.

Pulling the foreskin back over the head of the penis.


Source Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5, 6th Edition (Copyright © 2015 American Academy of Pediatrics)

Christos Salakos

Pediatric Surgeon Associate Professor

National and Kapodistrian University of Athens