Page 1 - Foreskin Care for Boys
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Urological Health

                                Foreskin care for boys

        The foreskin is the sheath of thin skin that normally covers and protects the head of the penis.

            he foreskin (or prepuce) is the sheath of thin skin   The age at which the foreskin becomes completely
        Tnormally covering the head of the penis (glans).         retractable is quite variable. By three years, most boys
        The inner foreskin is attached to the penile shaft just   can retract their foreskin at least partially. Only 1-2%
        beyond the glans, with a small band (the frenulum)        of boys are still not able to retract their foreskin by the
        approaching the opening of the urinary passage            age of seventeen.
        (urethral meatus) on the undersurface. Its function
        and natural development must be understood to             Circumcision is the surgical removal of the foreskin.
        ensure proper care.                                       Some parents chose to have their sons circumcised
                                                                  for social, cosmetic or ritual reasons. In others this
                                                                  operation is necessary due to problems with the
                                                                  foreskin. Routine circumcision of newborn boys, once
                                                                  very popular, is now much less common. Several
                                                                  medical organizations have discouraged routine
                                                                  circumcision after considering the risks and benefits
                                                                  of this surgery.
               Roula Drossis                                      Care of the normal foreskin

                                                                  The uncircumcised penis requires no special care.
                                                                  It can be kept clean with a gentle soap and warm
              Unretracted foreskin   Retracted foreskin
                                                                  water wash daily. No attempt should be made to
                                                                  retract the foreskin until it can be pulled back with
                                                                  ease. Then, your son should be taught to pull his
                                                                  foreskin back gently to clean its inner surface and the
        The foreskin protects the glans and urethral meatus       glans with soap and water. It should be thoroughly
        in the diapered baby, preventing irritation from          rinsed with water before being dried with a towel.
        contact with urine. In older boys and men, the foreskin   After retraction, the foreskin must always be brought
        continues to protect the sensitive glans. The foreskin    back to its usual position covering the glans.
        may also have specific functions related to sensation
        and immunity.                                             It is important not to retract the foreskin forcefully for
                                                                  any reason. Some parents feel the need to pull the
        At birth, the inner foreskin is often fused to the glans   foreskin back to “clean under it”. Since the young
        and the opening at the tip of the foreskin may be         boy’s inner foreskin and the glans are initially fused,
        narrow. This prevents it from being pulled back or        there is no space to clean.
        retracted to uncover the glans. Normal urination
        should not be affected. As your child matures, the        Forceful retraction also may lead to cracking and
        inner foreskin will gradually separate from the glans     bleeding of the tip of the foreskin. Over time, this
        and the narrow tip will widen, allowing progressive       may cause scarring of the skin making retraction
        retraction. The foreskin should never be retracted        impossible. Circumcision may then be necessary.

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