Discussion in 'Parenting' started by lenamarina, Jan 2, 2005.

  1. lenamarina

    lenamarina LaLa

    My son is 5 years old. I think he is getting to that age where something is starting to happen with him down there because he is constantly touching himself. This has been going on for a few months now, but just recently he's been complaining of it hurting. It happened once before, and he was a little red. I just made him go without undies for a few days and wash really good. That seemed to work, because it went away. But yesterday he was complaning again, and I saw that it was red and swollen. I made him take a bath and go without undies and he looks a little better today. I'm thinking about taking him to the doctor tommorrow.

    He is uncircumsized. His dad says that uncircumsized people have problems a lot with infection(my husband is circumsized). I've never heard that before. Is that true?

    Any help or advise on this issue would be greatly appreciated.


  2. Dakota's Mom

    Dakota's Mom Senior Member

    Little boys that age are investigating their bodies. He is probably playing with it a lot more than he used to. If the skin has not totally separated from the glans yet, he may have torn it lose a bit. The skin is usually separated from the glans by this age but not always. Sometimes it doesn't separate until puberty. Keeping it clean and not playing with it for a couple of days should be fine. It is not true that intact boys get more infections. This only happens when they are taught to pull the skin back before it is ready and when they are taught to thoroughly clean it. The lubrication that is under the foreskin is natural, normal, and should not be washed off. Leave him a alone and he should be fine.

    Maggie, Brighid, where are you? I'm sure you'll have the best advice.

  3. Dakota's Mom

    Dakota's Mom Senior Member

    Don't know how this sent twice. Sorry.
  4. Brighid

    Brighid Member

    Kathi has pretty much summed it up. Intact boys don't have more infections or problems with their penises unless an adult caregiver is prematurely retracting the foreskin. An intact boy is much easier to care for than a circ'd one; you just leave it alone!
    When the foreskin begins to seperate from the glans, about the time little boys discover themselves and begin having erections, it can get a little red and irritated. A bit of antibacterial ointment on the end can ease the discomfort. Never pull back the foreskin to apply, just dab a bit on the end.
    Never use soap on an intact boys glans (neither shoud soap be used on a circumcised boy's glans either). The glans is a mucus membrane and soap dries and irritates it. A simple rinse or daily soak in the tub with clean water is sufficient to keep him clean.
    If he likes to play with his foerskin and pull on it, just teaching him to do so with clean hands should prevent irritation.
    If you take him to a pediatrician, make sure you have a foreskin friendly one! Many docs in this country have no idea how to care for an intact boy, and will tell you to retract to clean or recommend circumcision, or worse, forcibly retract his foreskin, which is painful and traumatic. Don;t let the doctor touch his penis.
  5. BobbinBecca

    BobbinBecca Member

    My boy is the same, he also has developed habits to hide while he does this and does it more when watching TV or drinking out of sippy cups. I determined that, in addition to being uncircumcised and experience more sensation in that area, he associated playing with himself with unmindful activity. I have cut his TV time down an eliminated sippy cups and he keeps his hand out of his pants most of the time now. He has had two minor inflammations of the foreskin in his life now, and that is the only time we pull back the skin to wash, otherwise he washes it himself which of course is a quick once-over so, as he puts it himself, he doesn't get too clean for a boy. Ha ha. I don't think underwear has anything to do with the inflammations, unless it's dirty, but just playing with it with dirty hands, as Brighid said. Although I would like to see this behavior cease with my 5 yr old boy, I think the combo of intactness and boyishness will determine the struggle futile. Luckily, there is room for compromise and since there's nothing wrong with exploring parts of your body, it is best done as a private activity kept clean, and not polite to do it too much, you know just to, again as my boy says, "get the bugs out". That's how we handle it anyway :) hope it helps
  6. Maggie Sugar

    Maggie Sugar Senior Member

    All good advice, if it gets really painful or starts to smell weird, you may want to see a PENIS FREINDLY doctor. (Not one who is going to try to separate the foreskin from the glans by forcibly retracting it, though.) But usually the penis is a self cleaning organ. It really doesn't get more infections than non circed penises.

    As others have said, he may just be playing with it a lot. A LOT of little boys do this, to irritation (mama's and the kid's penis.) Keep it clean (by washing the OUTSIDE ONLY) and only see a doc if it seems to smell really bad. Chances of an infection are pretty slim.
  7. lenamarina

    lenamarina LaLa

    Thanks guys! Your info has been really helpful. Although the swelling did go down, I called my Doc today to see what she thought. She said just to keep doing what I'm doing(washing it and keeping tight undergarments off of it) since it's working, and if it gets worse, the to come in. So, I'm gonna see how things go this week, and if all is well Friday, we can skip the doc.

    Thanks again for all the helpful info, good for easing the worry a little.



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