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Care of the Uncircumcised Penis in Teens

The penis has 2 parts—the shaft and the glans. The shaft is the main part of the penis. The glans is the tip of the penis. All boys are born with a covering (foreskin) over the tip of the penis. Some boys are circumcised. This means that the foreskin is removed. Other boys are not circumcised and may have skin that covers the tip of the penis. The decision to circumcise a baby boy may depend on many factors. This includes the parents' preference, religion, and where the child is born.

In an uncircumcised boy, the foreskin will begin to separate from the glans. This is called foreskin retraction. This happens naturally while the boy is a baby. Foreskin retraction may happen right after birth. Or it may take several years. Most foreskins can be fully retracted by the time a young man is 18 years old. Retracting or pulling back the foreskin from the tip of the penis should not be forced. If the foreskin is forced to retract, it may cause bleeding and mild pain.

How to care for the uncircumcised penis

An uncircumcised teen should retract or pull back the foreskin and clean underneath it daily. It should be a part of his daily hygiene routine. The American Academy of Pediatrics states that the foreskin should be cleaned by following the steps below:

  • Gently, not forcefully, pull the foreskin away from the tip of the penis.

  • Rinse the tip of the penis and the inside part of the foreskin with soap and water.

  • Return the foreskin back over the tip of the penis.

Always talk with your teen's healthcare provider for more information.

Online Medical Reviewer: Donna Freeborn PhD CNM FNP
Online Medical Reviewer: Marc Greenstein MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Raymond Kent Turley BSN MSN RN
Date Last Reviewed: 11/1/2018
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