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Cleaning Your Young Child's Natural (Uncircumcised) Penis

Overview

Until the foreskin can be pulled back, wash only the outside of the penis. Don't try to force the foreskin back. When the foreskin can be pulled back, the area needs to be cleaned every day.

Infants and young children

  • A baby's foreskin does not pull back easily for about 6 months. Don't force it. Until you can pull the foreskin back, use warm water to wash the outside of the penis only. Pulling the foreskin back too early can damage it and cause scar tissue to form.
  • When you're able to pull the foreskin back, do so gently. Only pull it as far as it will go. Carefully wash the whole area with warm water. After washing, return the foreskin to its normal position.
  • Teach your child how to pull back the foreskin and wash their penis. A child as young as 3 can be taught to do this.
  • If your child's foreskin can't be pulled all the way back by the time they reach puberty, call your doctor for advice.
  • If you can't return the foreskin to its normal position, call your doctor right away.

Credits

Current as of: August 3, 2022

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine