If your son has been circumcised, there are some additional steps to take when changing his diaper until the circumcision has healed. If your son is not circumcised, then no additional care is required until the foreskin retracts naturally on its own, which can take years to occur. Until then, just clean his penis daily with soap and water.
Once the foreskin retracts on its own, teach your son how to properly clean his penis. This is done by gently retracting the foreskin, cleaning the area with soap and water, and then gently replacing the foreskin.
For circumcision care, take care not to touch the freshly circumcised penis. Remember, the penis is very sensitive. If stool is present on the penis, clean the area by squeezing some warm, clean water on it. Pat the surrounding area dry; again, avoiding direct contact with the penis. If your little boy was circumcised with a Gomco clamp or Mogen, you will need to apply a generous amount of emollient to his penis every diaper change to help prevent the freshly circumcised penis from sticking to the diaper and to aid in healing. For circumcisions using a PlastiBell, do not use lotions, creams, or emollients as this can cause the plastic ring to slip out of place. The PlastiBell should fall off within 8 days. Notify your baby’s healthcare provider if the plastic ring has not fallen off within 8 days, signs of infection are present, or the ring seems to have slipped from its original position.
In the first couple of days after a circumcision, monitor the site and notify your pediatrician of any excessive bleeding, signs of infection (such as pus, a foul odor, redness, swelling, fever) and watch for any difficulty in urinating. Of course, a small amount of blood on the diaper is normal in the first 1-2 days. But, if you see active bleeding from the penis or blood is present on a large area of the diaper, be sure to notify your pediatrician right away. If bleeding does occur, apply light pressure with a sterile gauze concentrating on the area that is bleeding to stop the bleeding.
Circumcisions usually heal within the first 7-10 days. A yellowish film is normally seen on the penis during the healing stage and is called “granulation tissue.” You will notice that the penis will return to a pink color when healed.
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Dr. Bob Sears on Caring for the Circumcised and Uncircumcised Penis
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