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My four month old son had an appointment with our pediatrician yesterday. I asked him to examine his penis, to make sure that everything was ok, as the foreskin still appeared to be very tight. The doctor retracted my son's foreskin over the glans and said that everything looks nomal. I didn't think much about it, but now the very tip of his foreskin is red and slightly inflamed. I have done the obligatory google search on this issue and have spent most of the day stressing out over the fact that the consistent advice (although muddled in somewhat by anti-circumcision sites who seem to enjoy scare mongering) is that you should never retract an infant foreskin. Well, this has already happened, so I am very interested in the following:

Hearing from parents who had a similiar experience,

How they cared for the penis afterwards,

and if there were any complications in the future months/years following the retraction.

I have read all of the warnings about not to retract and what can happen afterwards, and have been stressing out a great deal over this issue.

Many Thanks for all advice and help,



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Health Ace
6851 posts
Everyone seems to have a different opinion about that but most who say you shouldn't have never done it so they have no first hand experience on the subject.

When I was born in 1940 it was almost the norm to brutally cut off a boys foreskin here in the states. I say brutally because I can see no other way to describe that. They have proven the baby feels the intense pain very well.

When they offered to do that to me my mother was aghast, so I luckily escaped intact.

I don't know if her doctor retracted mine to clear any adhesions or not. I can see no evidence of having had adhesions, but I do know she was told she had to retract it at every bath to wash under it. My father was a home movie nut and I have many movies documenting my early years. Whenever any relatives came to visit it was "bathe the baby" time. Usually the males slipped out on that so it is mainly girls giving me a bath and in one scene I can see my mother showing a girl cousin how to retract my foreskin to wash under it.

My mother did that faithfully every time she bathed me until she turned the job over to me. I remember the lecture she gave me about doing it. She really wanted me to be sure to retract and clean and she would come in and make me do it while she watched. I never had any problems with retracting my foreskin and it never bothered me to have her do it, probably due in large part to the fact that it was constantly getting retracted for cleaning from when I was a baby.

When I read the problems guys write in about who have never retracted theirs, and some of them are in their teens, I'm certainly glad mine was retracted often from the time I was a baby. I think that saved me from a lot of possible problems. Number one is the tip becoming tight as the penis grows from not being pulled back over it.

I would think his tip may have gotten irritated and possibly stretched by the retraction since you said it was tight, especially if you have not been retracting it for cleaning. You could try putting some hydrocortisone cream on it. I feel you would be doing him a real favor if you retract it often to stretch it and/or keep it stretched so he doesn't have a problem with it being tight. If you are going to retract and wash, be sure to get any soap off before rolling it forward. If I get soap trapped under it, it gets sore by the end of the day.

I can say from experience that having a foreskin that retracts easily, comfortably and fully, is a joy and a pleasure, for both me and my wife.


Thanks for the reply, I really appreciate your lengthy insight. I guess I'm concerned about continually retracting the foreskin, as I have heard that this can do more damage - which is obviously the last thing I want to do. Some people say leave it alone after a forced retraction, others say pull it back and clean regularly. It's just hard to know what to do for the best. In addition, the anti-circumcision groups preach the 'leave it alone' doctrine so vehemently on the internet, that a great deal of the information regarding this issue originates from them, and it's hard to get an unbiased view on this subject. I'm not entirely convinced that 'leaving it alone' is always the best solution. There appears to be a huge volume of posts, just on this site, from concerned young men who are having great difficulty with their foreskins because of the inability to retract, having never retracted before, causing them physical and emotional distress. I think the best solution for us is to monitor the situation and look for any signs of trouble, possibly visiting a different doctor (perhaps a urologist) to get a second opinion on the way forward. For now, I am not planning to retract.

I'm still looking for parents who can relate their recent experiences, and how they cared for the penis in the months and years afterwards, and if there were any additional problems.

Many Thanks