Caring for the Circumcision Site on Your Baby
Your doctor or hospital nurse will instruct you on caring for the circumcision site. For a week, apply a protective lubricant over the site every time you change baby’s diaper. For about a week, the circumcised site goes through the typical healing process. Initially, it is swollen, then a yellow scab appears. The swelling and the scab resolve after one week of caring for the circumcision site.
Be sure your doctor informs you how to tell if the circumcision site becomes infected. Surprisingly, circumcision sites rarely become infected, but you should call your doctor if the entire penis is red, warm, and swollen, and the surgical site is draining pus. A yellow, nondraining scab is normal during healing.
Is Cleaning a Circumcised Penis Easier?
The reason often given for performing a circumcision is that cleaning a circumcised penis will be easier. In the adolescent and adult male, the glands of the foreskin secrete a fluid called smegma. These secretions may accumulate beneath the foreskin and occasionally irritate the penis; and sometimes the penis becomes infected. Removing the foreskin removes the secretions, makes the care of the penis easier, and lessens the risk of infection. With normal bathing, however, an intact foreskin is quite easy to care for.
The Decision is Yours
There is no compelling reason for circumcision. If you are looking to your doctor to be your son’s foreskin attorney, you may still be left undecided. Even the American Academy of Pediatrics is off and on again about the foreskin. In 1983, the AAP issued an opinion that “routine circumcision is medically unnecessary.” Because of recent and controversial studies among uncircumcised males, this large and respected body of pediatricians is now reconsidering its opinion. There will be more studies, more opinions, and I would guess that years down the road the fate of the foreskin will still be uncertain.