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Old 12-05-2009, 03:48 AM   #1
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Carla Hayward HB User
BOYS: Cleaning under the foreskin; at what age is best to start

I guess itís a contentious issue, but a vital one, particularly nowadays when we are more aware of the importance of sexual health. I did check some reference books and related web-sites before posting, but even absorbing all the differing information, would like to know what experiences other mums have had and what their opinions are.

Many medical journals seem to say that before age five it is best to leave it be and that a boyís foreskin should never be pushed back. Okay, so what happens when he gets past five and because many of us still find it a difficult subject to tackle? We donít teach them this fundamental task and they are ignorant to the point where they could develop phimosis which is where the foreskin sticks itself to the head of the penis; Iíve seen guys with this problem where the foreskin wonít pull back on an erection and clearly they ought to have been circumcised before. I would say that maybe even that situation could be avoided if things were treated properly in the first place. And as all young boys have erections, youíd hate too think they were in discomfort, and maybe he was at an age where he was just too embarrassed to tell you about it..

The only two related situations Iíve known through friends are one where her lad was nine and had got smegma under his foreskin, which shows that itís not just a man-thing; bacteria will prosper anywhere that isnít clean. And another friend, who did have concerns over her six-year-old, found that he wasnít able to pull his foreskin back at all. Thankfully, he avoided a circumcision. Even though the head of his penis was larger than normal, a doctor prescribed some Ďmagicí cream and after applying it just before bedtime, after three months, he could retract it fully.

Our boy is four and has a long appendage and a long, overhanging foreskin, which might cause problems later on if we donít see if it works properly now. And thereís the rub; youíre kind of worried if all of a sudden your kid doesnít appreciate your intruding in his personal space - thatís my point really, the longer you leave it, the more difficult it becomes.

So Iíd like some feedback from other mums; what are your experiences and what advice can you give please?

 
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Old 12-05-2009, 08:57 PM   #2
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Re: BOYS: Cleaning under the foreskin; at what age is best to start

I'm not a mum, but I know a great deal about a penis with a foreskin, and raising sons.
The head and foreskin are connected by a membrane. The reason for this, is to protect the head from feces, uric acid, and bacteria. This is why many circumcised boys develop meatal stenosis, a narrowing of the urinary opening, from scarring. Gradually, over time, on its own schedule, this membrane breaks down, and the head and foreskin separate. One sign that the two are separating is the production of smegma. Before that, there is no need to wash the inside of the penis. Damaging the membrane can cause adhesions, where the foreskin heals to the head because of a wound. This is why only the owner of the penis should be retracting it, until he is an adult. After the two separate, he will need to wash normally, every other day or so, in the shower. This is not a big deal.
If you want more information about this, and ages at which boys are retractable by percentage, do a web search for the Oster study+Denmark. Normal is anytime between birth, and puberty, or even later.
Phimosis is caused either by prematurely retracting the foreskin, causing scarring, or by a chronic, untreated yeast infection. A yeast infection causes it, by making small tears. The tears heal as scar tissue, which is less elastic than skin. He will retract when he is ready.
Nobody needs to be circumcised to cure phimosis. Gentle stretching with the fingers daily will usually cure it in six weeks, less time than a circumcision. For the more stubborn cases, a doctor can prescribe betamethasone cream. I suspect that the six year old was prematurely treated with this, when he would have been retractable soon anyway. The nine year old, well, he was just following nature's schedule. Now, he gets to wash like the rest of us. If phimosis is a concern, there is great advice in a sticky at the top of the Men's Health forum, on stretching a tight foreskin.

I have found that in my experience, the medical professionals are the last people to seek advice from regarding the male foreskin, in the US. Most anatomy and physiology textbooks don't have a foreskin in them. The doctors push circumcision in a way that is totally unethical, in my personal experience, violating the "first, do no harm" guideline. As a 23 year old, I did not know what I know now. On the medical advice of three doctors, we had our son circumcised for phimosis at 3, many years ago. Now, I know, it can't be diagnosed that young. Infantile phimosis is the normal state. He had a minor infection, for which, at most, antibiotics should have been prescribed. Most likely, the foreskin was just doing its job, and the redness would have gone away in a few days. We didn't make the same mistake with the younger son.
Your boy's long foreskin is of no concern. This is one of the differences between humans, and the other apes. It is just more protection, and will be more sensual for him as an adult. He will discover nature's best toy, and retract it, without any help at all, in due time.
Best of luck with your little man.

 
Old 12-07-2009, 04:09 AM   #3
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Carla Hayward HB User
Re: BOYS: Cleaning under the foreskin; at what age is best to start

Quote:
Originally Posted by tommy124 View Post
I'm not a mum, but I know a great deal about a penis with a foreskin, and raising sons.
The head and foreskin are connected by a membrane. The reason for this, is to protect the head from feces, uric acid, and bacteria. This is why many circumcised boys develop meatal stenosis, a narrowing of the urinary opening, from scarring. Gradually, over time, on its own schedule, this membrane breaks down, and the head and foreskin separate. One sign that the two are separating is the production of smegma. Before that, there is no need to wash the inside of the penis. Damaging the membrane can cause adhesions, where the foreskin heals to the head because of a wound. This is why only the owner of the penis should be retracting it, until he is an adult. After the two separate, he will need to wash normally, every other day or so, in the shower. This is not a big deal.
If you want more information about this, and ages at which boys are retractable by percentage, do a web search for the Oster study+Denmark. Normal is anytime between birth, and puberty, or even later.
Phimosis is caused either by prematurely retracting the foreskin, causing scarring, or by a chronic, untreated yeast infection. A yeast infection causes it, by making small tears. The tears heal as scar tissue, which is less elastic than skin. He will retract when he is ready.
Nobody needs to be circumcised to cure phimosis. Gentle stretching with the fingers daily will usually cure it in six weeks, less time than a circumcision. For the more stubborn cases, a doctor can prescribe betamethasone cream. I suspect that the six year old was prematurely treated with this, when he would have been retractable soon anyway. The nine year old, well, he was just following nature's schedule. Now, he gets to wash like the rest of us. If phimosis is a concern, there is great advice in a sticky at the top of the Men's Health forum, on stretching a tight foreskin.

I have found that in my experience, the medical professionals are the last people to seek advice from regarding the male foreskin, in the US. Most anatomy and physiology textbooks don't have a foreskin in them. The doctors push circumcision in a way that is totally unethical, in my personal experience, violating the "first, do no harm" guideline. As a 23 year old, I did not know what I know now. On the medical advice of three doctors, we had our son circumcised for phimosis at 3, many years ago. Now, I know, it can't be diagnosed that young. Infantile phimosis is the normal state. He had a minor infection, for which, at most, antibiotics should have been prescribed. Most likely, the foreskin was just doing its job, and the redness would have gone away in a few days. We didn't make the same mistake with the younger son.
Your boy's long foreskin is of no concern. This is one of the differences between humans, and the other apes. It is just more protection, and will be more sensual for him as an adult. He will discover nature's best toy, and retract it, without any help at all, in due time.
Best of luck with your little man.

 
Old 12-07-2009, 04:11 AM   #4
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Carla Hayward HB User
Re: BOYS: Cleaning under the foreskin; at what age is best to start

Thank you for your insight and concern; information is one thing, experience is quite another. I will have a look at the studies mentioned. It's quite an interesting subject and one that many mum's may be ignorant of or come across. Thanks again.

 
Old 12-07-2009, 05:02 AM   #5
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ClearB HB User
Re: BOYS: Cleaning under the foreskin; at what age is best to start

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carla Hayward View Post
Thank you for your insight and concern; information is one thing, experience is quite another. I will have a look at the studies mentioned. It's quite an interesting subject and one that many mum's may be ignorant of or come across. Thanks again.
This is very important for young boys. And If this is done properly they would have better life. And when i say life, I mean life, not just sexual life. First of all many bad things will not happen, like bad smell or things like that.
And this should be just mum's job but fathers also.

 
Old 12-07-2009, 07:43 AM   #6
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tommy124 HB Usertommy124 HB Usertommy124 HB Usertommy124 HB Usertommy124 HB User
Re: BOYS: Cleaning under the foreskin; at what age is best to start

It is no different for a boy than a girl. Everybody benefits from good hygiene.
The odd thing with boys is that there is a new generation growing up, whose fathers are circumcised, so the chain of acquired information, the how to, has been broken.
Bubble baths should be avoided. They can irritate the urethra. He will wash when it is time. Otherwise, it gets itchy.

 
Old 12-08-2009, 04:02 AM   #7
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ClearB HB User
Re: BOYS: Cleaning under the foreskin; at what age is best to start

Quote:
Originally Posted by tommy124 View Post
It is no different for a boy than a girl. Everybody benefits from good hygiene.
The odd thing with boys is that there is a new generation growing up, whose fathers are circumcised, so the chain of acquired information, the how to, has been broken.
Bubble baths should be avoided. They can irritate the urethra. He will wash when it is time. Otherwise, it gets itchy.
I agree with the broken chain. But the new generation bring new stuff. I think that this will be manageable for everybody, but they just need a little self effort.

 
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