Uncircumcised Penis Care

The penis, the outer reproductive organ of the male, consists of two parts -- the shaft and the glans. The glans is the tip of the penis, while the shaft is the main part of the penis. All boys are born with a foreskin, or a covering over the tip of the penis. The foreskin acts as a covering to protect the delicate glans underneath. When a boy is circumcised, this protective foreskin is lost.

Skin cells from the glans of the penis and the inner lining of the foreskin are shed throughout life. Since this shedding takes place in a closed space, they will work their way to the tip of the foreskin. These skin cells are called smegma.

The care of the foreskin is easy. The genitals should be washed with soap and water. The foreskin should never be pulled back during infancy or young childhood. If the foreskin is forcibly retracted, pain, bleeding and scarring can result.

After birth, the inner surface of the foreskin begins to separate from the glans. This natural separation may take months or years. It should not be forced. Most foreskins will retract (push back away from the glans) by the age of 5, but there is no need for concern even after a longer period. Some boys' foreskin will not retract until teenage years. At puberty, a boy should be taught to retract the foreskin and clean beneath it during his daily bath.


Last Updated 09/2012