Care of the Circumcised Penis
Penises come in all shapes and sizes but often they are made to look different by a little operation called circumcision. In the past, circumcision has been suggested as a way to prevent penile cancer. Newborn circumcision (removal of the skin, which covers the head of the penis) is performed for religious, social and cultural reasons. The foreskin hides the glans for most of the time so it can’t be seen. When a penis is circumcised, the foreskin is cut off, so the glans is always seen. Penile hygiene is often difficult to achieve and attempting a very high degree of hygiene in uncircumcised men can result in new dermatological problems. For mothers and fathers, it is far easier to maintain cleanliness of their son’s penis if it is circumcised. Men who are circumcised have to be just as careful as the non circumcised men. The lack of a foreskin means that bacteria and dead cells do not accumulate there, but it also means that the glans is no longer protected from contact with dust, sweat and all kinds of substances and fabrics that would otherwise be kept away from the penis. Some men choose circumcision precisely because they think that losing the foreskin helps keep the penis clean. Some doctors also think that circumcised penises are more exposed to bacteria causing infections of the urinary tract, that is why keeping yourself clean at all times is most important. To clean the penis, start at the tip. Pull the foreskin back as far as it would go in order to expose the entire glans. Wash both the glans and the inside of the foreskin thoroughly, but gently. This is not supposed to cause pain, so be gentle with one of the most sensitive parts of your body. At the same time, make sure that the glans is perfectly clean. The space between the glans and the foreskin is where the white substance known as smegma is formed.
Care of the Uncircumcised Penis
When a male child is born, his penis still has an extra layer of skin protection over the head (glans). This layer is called the “foreskin” or “prepuce.” At birth, the foreskin is still attached to the head of the penis. At the adult age the role of penis is very important to perform sexual activity. The penis can affect a man’s sexual functioning and fertility. As the boy gets older, the foreskin begins to separate naturally from the head of the penis. An uncircumcised penis has its foreskin intact. An infant boy with an uncircumcised penis does not need special care. As your son was growing up, you probably told him to keep his penis clean. Normal bathing is enough to keep it clean. The best advice for parents is to encourage your son to keep the outside of the penis clean in general. He can pull the foreskin back to where it feels comfortable and clean the head of the penis that is visible. Make sure that the penis is clean, with no soap residue left over. The soap can be irritating to the sensitive skin on the head of the penis. 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 advise to gently retract the foreskin during bathing and clean the penis properly. The most important factor in preventing penile cancer in uncircumcised men is good genital care and hygiene. Uncircumcised men need to retract the foreskin and clean the entire penis. If the foreskin is constricted and difficult to retract, a doctor may be able to suggest to apply a cream or ointment to the foreskin to make it easier to retract. If this doesn’t work the doctor may cut the skin of the foreskin in a procedure called a dorsal slit to make retraction easier. 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.