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I dont know what age i should encourage my sons to pull his foreskin down to wash it. Also my 3 year old can pull it all the way down where as my six year old cant seem to move it this normal?iIdont want to put him through the embarrassment of a vist to the doctors unnecessarily


In some boys, foreskin may retract on its own immediately after birth but it may take a few years until it happens as well. Foreskin should be able to fully retract until the age of 18. Mothers should retract the foreskin of boys from time to time but not forcefully. If it is impossible and foreskin seems to be firmly attached to the glans (head), you should not force the retraction as it may hurt and bleed.

If not separated soon after the birth, foreskin may retract gradually. If it seems to be stuck without any ability to retract even when tried manually, you may want to see a doc and get some prescription corticosteroid to help release the foreskin ring (the opening) but a doc may decide to leave it like that and sees what happens.

Other doctors may suggest circumcision. Under no circumstances, should you accept this. This used to be the only method to get rid of the foreskin but today it seems to be the last option and personally I am against foreskin removal.

Try slowly retracting your son’s foreskin and if it is completely stuck, then you may want to see a doc. If it moves slightly, you should continue pulling it bit by bit every couple of days and see how it goes.

When boys are mature enough to wash on their own, you should show them how it is done. This means that you should show them how to fully retract the foreskin and wash under the foreskin regularly with warm water and mild soap, so that they could maintain good hygiene. Washing under the foreskin is very important.


Jane's advice is mostly correct. Full retractability at birth is rare. Its development by age 3 - 5 is normal for 90 %, and by age 10 in all but 1 % of remaining boys. After that, it is time to take action to achieve full and easy retractability.
Teaching boys to do this on their own is preferable, because they know how hard and how far they can pull it back without hurting too much.
Here is a related story. I pulled this message from another forum:

Re: Asian Foreskin Story
I guess they don't see (circumcision) as necessary. For
them it is normal that the glans will be uncovered
after puberty, so what's the fuss? And if it's not,
that's when they think about circumcision.
A close acquaintance of mine is south-east asian
by origin and he told me that he retracted his
foreskin just once - about age 12 - and that's where
it stayed ever since. To him that's just the natural
thing to do. Is it paraphimosis? I don't know and
never will - we're both married family men.


Note: My brother, cousin and I, and others we have met
or heard about later on, did the same thing. But some
of us think it would be better to start earlier, just
as soon as the foreskin is readily retractable.
Mothers, if for whatever reason you are going to delay
or avoid circumcision for your son, consider this cost-
less, painless and totally reversable alternative which
provides all of the same benefits.
Do him an important favor and help him get his foreskin
pulled back off the penis head at the earliest possible
--Charles II


This is all accurate - I have three sons - all with their foreskin intact and two younger brothers as well. All ranging in age from 18 months to 23 years.

This link will give you all the advice you need.


i have only one boy and was mortified when he said every one in his class could do this but he couldn't, my partner said you should put your hand up and say you can as well. i have had to sit him down and tell him to try and retract it whenever he can he is an only child that was brought up by 3 females until the age of 7 and is now 11 we didn't know you were supposed to do this


Very,very gently push his foreskin back only as far as it will go on it's own. Between the foreskin and the head of the penis,there is a thin glue like layer,binding the foreskin to the penal head.That is why a baby's penis looks likes raw after circumcision.Over time this glue like layer breaks down,and the foreskin well become retractable.There is no set age for this.For some boys this happens while they are an infant,for others,not till they are grown men.If you force his foreskin back,it will cause him physical pain.The head of his penis will be a raw wound,like if you yank a fingernail off.Just the very air will hurt,never mind urine.The foreskin of infants and young boys is also more muscular.It tends to clamp tight,even in boys and infants who's foreskins are retractable.If you force his foreskin back, it may clamp down behind the penal head,and possibly cut off the blood flow to his penis.In some cases boys have had to have part or all of their penis removed because it died.So,if you could retract him one day,but the next day the prepuce won't go back,leave it,don't force it.When the prepuce is bound to the penal head,there is no need to retract it.It stays clean,like the skin under your fingernail.Before natural retractablity, just wash his penis,like you do his scrotum.  


pulling back the foreskin of an immature penis is like peeling a green banana still on the tree. If you break the immature bond between the skin and the fruit, it may interfere with the development of the erogenous surfaces. If it is still bonded, why do you think that dirt can get in there?! Dont try and clean internals



There is great variation in the age at which a child's foreskin becomes retractable. The median point has been found to be 10.4 years. Your six year old is normal. No treatment is necessary. He does not need to retract his foreskin at this age.

Some boys do not retract until after they are into puberty. This too is normal.

Washing under the foreskin is advisable after a male becomes sexually active.