If you have an uncircumcised son or if you’re looking for information on whats involved in caring for an uncircumcised boy, here is some great information from The Whole Network. Firstly is some information on what the foreskin really is (from the book ‘What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Circumcision’ by M.D. Paul M. Fleiss, D.Phil Frederick M. Hodges), followed by some great care tips.
What is the Foreskin (Prepuce)?
The foreskin – also known as the prepuce – is the flexible, double-layered sheath of specialised skin that covers and protects the glans (or head) of the normal penis. The foreskin is a uniquely specialised, sensitive, and functional organ of touch. No other part of the body serves the same purpose.
The foreskin is an integral and important part of the skin system of the penis. It is a complex and sophisticated structure with many interesting and unique properties. No other part of the body’s skin covering duplicates the amazing design and functional possibilities of the foreskin. Among the many interesting features of the foreskin is the fact that it is highly elastic, entirely devoid of any subcutaneous fat, and lined with a sheet of smooth muscle.
The foreskin is more than just skin; it is a complex, highly mobile, and beautifully engineered organ composed of an intricate web of blood vessels, muscle, and nerves. In fact, the foreskin contains about 240 feet of nerve fibers and tens of thousands of specialised erotogenic nerve endings of various types, which can feel the slightest pressure, the lightest touch, the smallest motion, the subtlest changes in temperature, and the finest gradations in texture.
Nature has designed the delicate glans (commonly called the head of the penis) to be an internal organ. In the normal, intact penis, the glans is a glistening, rich red or purple color. The foreskin protects the glans and keeps it in excellent condition.
In many ways, the foreskin is just like the eyelid. It covers, cleans, and protects the glans just as the eyelid covers, cleans, and protects the eye. Also, just as the eyelid can open and close to uncover the eye, so the foreskin can open to reveal the delicate glans. The foreskin’s inside fold is lined with a smooth red tissue called mucous membrane. This type of tissue is also found lining the lips, the inside of the mouth, and the inner fold of the eyelid. The foreskin’s soothing inner fold gently keeps the surface of the glans healthy, clean, shiny, warm, soft, moist, and sensitive.
Proper Care of The Intact Penis
The male foreskin is fused to the head of the penis at birth (just like the female foreskin – the clitoral hood – is normally fused to the glans of infant and young preadolescent girls). This is the body’s way of protecting the genitals against urine and feces. Because it is fused shut, bacteria and other foreign particles cannot invade.
It is absolutely unnecessary to forcibly retract the foreskin to clean under it, and in fact – this will cause bleeding, scarring, and damage to the penis. Pulling it back before it is ready can also introduce foreign bacteria which can lead to infection.
The first person to retract a boy’s foreskin should be the boy himself. Everyone else – hands off. The average age for this to happen is about 10 years old. About that time, the foreskin will start to become detached (although sometimes it is sooner, and sometimes it is later). Until about puberty, the body isn’t producing anything that needs to be ‘rinsed’. So if he gets especially dirty, sitting in a warm water bath (without soap) should take care of the cleaning. Once he can retract his own foreskin, he just needs to pull it back during a shower, rinse with warm water, and return it to the original position. No soap and no scrubbing under the foreskin.
If child has been forcefully retracted, the best thing to do is stop retracting and let it heal. Please click here to get more information on what to do now and how to clean. Putting a boy into the bath several times a day helps. The body, air, and water are the best healers. Of course, you must be vigilant about watching for infection beyond the initial inflammation for the first week following forcible retraction.
Here are some links to more information: