Penis care (uncircumcised)
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.
Boswell B, Thomas AA. Pediatric genitourinary and renal tract disorders. In: Walls RM, ed. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2023:chap 168.
Elder JS. Anomalies of the penis and urethra. In: Kliegman RM, St. Geme JW, Blum NJ, Shah SS, Tasker RC, Wilson KM, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 559.
Wesley SE, Allen E, Bartsch H. Care of the newborn. In: Rakel RE, Rakel DP, eds. Textbook of Family Medicine. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 21.
Last reviewed on: 7/1/2023
Reviewed by: Kelly L. Stratton, MD, FACS, Associate Professor, Department of Urology, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, MD, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.