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173939 tn?1333221450

Tight Foreskin (child)

I tried to open Peekawho`s web link noted under reply to benji on 12/14/2006 but did not succeed.
I am posting this on the Men`s Forum because I assume there will be more people who actually lived through this type of ordeal.
My 4-year-old is not circumsized and seems to have inherited a very tight foreskin. There has been no retractability ever.
As I keep on hearing that having a foreskin seems to provide more pleasure later in life, I do not want to impose surgery on him unless there is no other choice. I am interested in knowing the following:
- is the application of steroid creme and mild stretching an option for a 4-year-old at all or just for adults?
- is it true that if the mild stretching is done too forcefully by eager parents, the situation gets worse because scar tissue and adhesions will lump foreskin and glans together?
- if a circumcision is indicated anyway after age 4, is there a good age for this where it does not cause psychological trauma?
- has anyone heard of the PlastiBell method and what exactly is being done?
- finally, how can a penis with tight foreskin be kept clean? I am a bit confused here - if the foreskin were still attached to the glans, one would obviously not clean a space where there is none. Does tight foreskin however mean that the foreskin and glans are separated and that there would be room for smegma build-up? Any advice or shared experience is greatly appreciated.
14 Responses
Avatar universal
I can offer you absolutely no advice, except to tell you that to some degree, I empathize with you.  My son is 4 as well, but he is circumcised.  However, his was done incorrectly, and we have to go in on Jan 16 to have it repaired.  They told us to do it now rather than wait, because the older they are, the more psychological problems it could cause, and/or the more pain they will be in.

Just thought it interesting that we had the same concerns, but at opposite ends of the spectrum.  Good luck, and I hope you find the answers you are looking for.
172023 tn?1334675884
There is no need to do anything at all at this point, unless his penis is red or sore.  Some children are not retractable until much, much later.  Never let anyone forcibly retract him. No matter what they say.  

There is also no need to clean under the foreskin until it is retractable.

Go to www.nocirc.org and you may find more info of care of the intact penis in children.  Yes there are steroid creams that an older child might use, but it probably wouldn't be used in a young child.

If you seek out an opinion of a urologist, they generally recommend circumsion.  Because urologists operate--it's just what they do.  nocirc.org maintains a list of foreskin friendly urologists, I believe.

You might also try ivillage.com.  There is a forum there for parents of intact boys.  If you need the link, I'll try to post it.  

172023 tn?1334675884

That's the ivillage one.  Lots of very well informed folks on there.
173939 tn?1333221450
Thank you, peekawho, this is such great advice and exactly what I had assumed and practiced so far. I will stick to my guns then...
The story behind this is that my son spends the occasional weekend at his dad`s house who is very eager to teach him all the guy things as for example proper penis hygiene. My son used to come back home with his foreskin irritated and one day was handed over to me with the words "You better see a doctor, he could barely pee today." I asked his dad to leave that foreskin alone and went to our family doctor who then forced the foreskin all the way back to my son`s dismay, snapped at me for not having done this on a daily basis...silly ignorant single mom... and gave me another 3 months to repeat the retractions he had just demonstrated. If then the foreskin had not come loose, my son would be due for a circumcision. I could not get myself to follow his advice and did not dare to ever go back. That has been a year ago.
Thank you, glad2bamom, for sharing your psychological insights. Sorry to hear that you have to put your son through a second surgery. Hospital settings can be so scary for the little ones.
All the best. As for the psychology, I hope my son will get by without infections until adulthood and then make his own decisions.

172023 tn?1334675884
The only cleaning it needs right now is the same care you would give a finger.  Wash the outside.

Little boys tend to play with themselves with grimy hands, though.  Sometimes they can get a mild infection that is easily treated with an antibiotic.  To me, I wouldn't amputate a body part simply to avoid having to give a child an antibiotic occasionally.

I urge you to contact nocirc to see if you can get a list of foreskin friendly urologists in your area to have on hand if this happens again.  They have plenty of printed material that you can give to your childs father, too.  The Ivillage people may also be able to give you other ideas/directions on how to handle this.

Some boys are not retractable even until their teens.  They are at the other end of the spectrum.  Late, but not abnormal.
172023 tn?1334675884
If he does wind up having to be circumcised for other reasons, approach it with the same calm, reasoned explaination you would use for any other surgery.  He will be asleep for the operation, which at least is better than what is done to infants.
He will also have decent pain medications available afterwards, again different that the experience of infants who are circumcised at birth.

Properly prepared, this surgery should pose no problems for coping.  I wish you both the best.
173939 tn?1333221450
Thanks again, greatly appreciated!
Avatar universal
Yeah, just clean around the area and he should be fine. Most likely he doesn't have a tight foreskin at all. Most kids can't retract until they are around 6ish anyway, from what I understand. He just needs to understand that if and when it does come back, he just needs to make sure to clean it when he bathes and that's it. He should be fine. Circumcision is such a wild prescription for this minor thing; I suggest finding another doctor who isn't so intent on carving his own aesthetic views into others' bodies.
173939 tn?1333221450
Thanks pgb, very re-assuring. And sorry to read about your own ordeal above!
Avatar universal
Wasn't me, but glad you got some answers!  LOL
173939 tn?1333221450
LOL - sorry, wrong gender... I`m not even dyslexic but your user name was just more familiar to me at this point. Happy New Year :)
Avatar universal
Hi...I am a mother of two lil men aged 8 and 10....Both of which had problems with their foreskin not retracting.
We did the creams and what not for a few years...no luck.
One had his foreskin so tight it wouldnt retract at all...and the other had his foreskin  fused to the head of his penis.
We didn't want them to have the surgery..so we tried everything...many trips to the dr's many infections and cream..antibiotics...we fnally opted for them both to have surgery.
There really wasn't another option..they were both very uncomfortable.
they had the surgery at 5 and 7.
They are both fine...We were just fortunate enough to have them in at the same time...
They both blew through it...no trauma of any kind..me and my husband on the other hand...I think it was more of an ordeal for us.
Good Luck....I'm sure everything will be fine...Hopefully the creams will work and he won't need anything more.

Avatar universal
my son is 13. and he is uncircumsized. he told me that he hast pulled the foreskin back and saw the head of his penis fully yet.
should i tell him to HAVE to do it. is it a serios matter if he doesnt get it pulled back at this age??
Avatar universal
My son is also 4 years old and is havng surgery in 2 weeks.  He had a really bad viral infection in his urethra, which made it difficdult and almost impossible to pee.  I spetn about 4 nights in and out of the hospital...because he refused to pee because it hurt so much..it was horrible..i felt so bad for him. 5 ifferent DR. said he needed a circumCiSion.  hIS PEDIATRIC UROLOGIST SAID no..so we tried the steriod cream..to no avail.  So i just decided to go through with the surgery to avois any further complications.  I could handle seeing my son go through that kind of pain again.  I didn't want to take that chance.  I'm a little worried about the sugery but i know that things with be just fne once we get through it.  

So I guess my advice to you is to hang in there and decide what would be best for you and your child.  Allow people to give advice and opinions, but ulimately the decsion is your and yours alone.  I've had many people give their"2 cents" including his father who by the way didn't have the time to worry about it when he was born..)but now is saying I told ya so!!..who need to listen to him anyway..he's never around!!! :>)

Good Luck!
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