Penis care (uncircumcised)
Toggle: English / Spanish
Uncircumcised penis - bathing; Cleaning an uncircumcised penis
An uncircumcised penis has its foreskin intact. An infant boy with an uncircumcised penis does not need special care. Normal bathing is enough to keep it clean.
Do not pull back (retract) the foreskin for cleaning in infants and children. This may injure the foreskin and cause scarring. This may make it difficult or painful to pull back the foreskin later in life.
Teenage boys should be taught to gently retract the foreskin during bathing and clean the penis well. The area should be dried completely after cleaning. It is very important to pull the foreskin back over the head of the penis after cleaning and drying. Otherwise, the foreskin can slightly squeeze the head of the penis, causing swelling and pain (paraphimosis). This needs medical care.
Elder JS. Anomalies of the penis and urethra. In: Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, Stanton BF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19thed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 538.
Buescher JJ, Bland H. Care of the newborn. In: Rakel RE, ed. Textbook of Family Medicine. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 22.
- Last reviewed on 10/2/2013
- Scott Miller, MD, Urologist in private practice in Atlanta, Georgia. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2013 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
This page was last updated: May 20, 2014