When a baby is born, the foreskin is attached to the head of the penis, which is its purpose – to protect the penis. The inside part of the penis, also known as the glans, is extra sensitive, moist and soft so it needs special care.
We all know that babies’ skin is sensitive because it is still developing, and needs extra care, which is why there are guidelines on how to take care of it. The penis is a very sensitive part of the body and mothers should follow certain skin care guidelines to keep their babies healthy and happy.
Take a look at these 15 skin care tips that we put together for mums, you might find them quite helpful.
15 Immediate Care
If your baby was very recently circumcised, then there are certain things you must know. For example, you should clean his penis with only water for the first few days. Using products with harsh chemicals is discouraged as it may result in irritation or infection of the skin, even if the products are baby products.
After he’s had his bath, the only thing you should be applying on his penis is petroleum jelly on the wound. When putting him back in his diaper, make sure that his penis is laid flat against his pubic area and not off to the side or facing down.
14 Keep Things Airy
The circulation of air is very important for your baby’s penis to be able to heal properly. If at all possible, leave your baby without a diaper for as long as you can. Normally a penis takes up to 10 days to heal, so don’t start panicking after the passage of 1 week!
The penis may appear to be swollen and red. In some cases, mothers may even noticed yellowish secretions, which are perfectly normal. However, if these symptoms continue well after 10 days, it’s time to visit the doctor, especially if these signs are accompanied by uneasy baby cries.
13 Never Pull It Back
If you chose not to circumcise your child you'll have a different set of guidelines for the proper foreskin care.We all understand that mothers want to keep their babies clean and avoid skin infections, but the baby’s foreskin should never be pulled back. The skin is young and attached to the head of the penis, so pulling it back by force may tear the tissues and injure your baby.
12 Don’t Clean the Inside of the Foreskin
The inside of the baby’s foreskin is highly sensitive, and so soaps will cause irritation. The inside of the foreskin naturally cleans itself. Mothers should not worry much about the hygiene of the penis. If you feel that you must clean the penis, just wash the outer part with water and make sure you wipe off any poop or discharge to avoid it from entering the inner parts of the penis.
11 Adopt a Safe Method of Cleaning
If you choose a reliable method to routinely clean the baby’s penis, then you will always avoid instances of infecting or injuring your baby. Pediatricians recommend that mothers use a clean, soft cloth to clean the baby’s penis and outer foreskin.
Clean, warm water is okay to wash the baby's penis entirely, but when using a baby cleanser just make sure it doesn't get directly applied to your baby's penis, instead make sure it's soapy water.
10 Choose the Right Baby Wipes
We all know how it is with babies, they might poo or wee anywhere and anytime, so choosing the safest wipes is vital. The best baby wipes should be unscented and non-alcoholic. You do not want your baby to get sick when you are on the go.
Again, do not attempt to clean inside the foreskin, instead clean the outside areas as best you can to stop feces from entering the foreskin area and causing irritation.
9 Don’t Separate the Foreskin From the Penis
Mothers should be aware that their baby’s penis is growing, and the foreskin is attached to the penis. The foreskin and penis separate after three years, so give time for it to separate naturally. Trying to pull back the foreskin or separate it will harm the baby and an injury may result and proceed to cause problems into adulthood.
Once the penis separates from the foreskin you can teach your child how to care for their penis and foreskin. In this case, the foreskin can be pulled back from the penis for cleaning.
8 Handle Circumcised Baby Boys with Even More Care
Circumcised baby boy’s penis is very sensitive and more prone to infections and injuries until the circumcision site heals. Avoid applying soap directly to the penis when bathing the baby in the first few days after the circumcision. Gently clean the wound with a light amount of soap in warm water, then soak a cloth in the water to clean the penis and tap the wound to dry with a clean, dry towel.
Apply petroleum jelly on the wound to speed up healing and point the penis downwards to avoid rubbing against the nappy. Basically you'll want to keep his penis as clean as possible while it heals.
7 Know How to Detect Infections
Skin infections can happen after the baby boy is circumcised and even to uncircumcised boys. After a circumcision, the skin appears red and swollen; a yellow secretion may be evident. In most cases, this should go away in a couple of days. If your baby cries continuously or bleeds when peeing, there are chances of skin infection, and you should seek medical attention immediately.
6 Maintain Hygiene to Prevent Balanitis
The word “balanitis” scared you, right? Well, it should because it is quite severe. It is an inflammation that affects the foreskin. It can be severe in adults and babies alike. The inflammation causes severe swelling and redness of the tip of the penis, most males feel pain when they pee. When you see such symptoms, don't hesitate to go see a doctor for creams and antibiotics.
5 Put Nappies On the Right Way
If you do not put on nappies in the right way, the baby’s foreskin may be pulled back causing irritation. You can notice this by any redness that appears on the foreskin and uneasiness or discomfort of the baby when you put him in a nappy. You can solve this problem by using a nappy barrier cream and applying it on the foreskin of the baby before putting him in his nappy.
4 Don’t Worry If You Pull Back the Skin Accidentally
We know we have talked much about the danger of pulling back the baby’s foreskin, but here is the better part. If you pull back the foreskin accidentally, and because it is tight, it acts like a rubber band that inhibits proper flow of blood to the penis. This causes severe swelling.
If this happens, see your doctor immediately, and he/she will help to pull back the foreskin into its normal position.
3 Check Constantly
Many doctors and pediatricians say that it is not necessary to provide special attention to the baby’s foreskin. That is fine, but we all know that it's good to keep a keen eye open every now and then. Check for any, swellings, redness, or secretions every time you bath your baby. This is not a call for alarm, the baby will provide a sign if everything is not fine down there.
2 Know About Smegma (but don’t worry about it)
Smegma is a whitish secretion from your baby’s penis, it is caused by dead skin cells and perfectly okay as long as there are no other symptoms of infections. So the next time you see a white secretion from your baby’s penis, don’t immediately rush to the phone to call the doctor! Learn more about this process here.
1 Keep the Baby Away From Excessive Heat
Too much heat from enclosed nappies can cause rashes all over the baby’s genitals. A mixture of poo and wee can produce so much heat, and this leads to rashes on the baby. Keep the baby free for as much time as possible, preferably after a bath. This will minimize the chances of rashes and discomfort caused by wearing nappies all the time.
Make sure the baby is completely dry before putting him in his nappies and make sure the nappies are not too tight. The bottom line is that until the baby is potty trained, the mother will be responsible for their babies’ health and safety. The points I have discussed with you will help a great deal in improving the skin care of baby boy’s foreskin.