Penis care (uncircumcised)

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Alternative Names

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. It is very important to reposition the foreskin back over the head of the penis after cleaning. 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, Stanton BF, St Geme JW III, Schor NF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 20th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 544.

Wesley SE, Allen E, Bartsch H. Care of the newborn. In: Rakel RE, Rakel D, eds. Textbook of Family Medicine. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 21.

Version Info

  • Last reviewed on 8/31/2015
  • Jennifer Sobol, DO, urologist at the Michigan Institute of Urology, West Bloomfield, MI. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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