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Confused about penis care in four year old

(29 Posts)
AbeSaidYes Wed 26-Aug-15 21:21:02

DS just complained of pain in the top of the shaft of his penis (not the foreskin) and wanted to put his penis into a cup of water (yes both DH and I had a giggle about a penis beaker). It doesn't look swollen or anything but I have googled and come up with a load of stuff (thanks dr Google) including balanitis.

What's also come up is a LOAD of stuff about proper care of the penis, washing around or beneath the foreskin and smegma.all we have ever done is bath him, wipe about a bit in the general area with a sponge or flannel and so on. My understanding was you do NOT mess about with the foreskin at all? DH was circumcised as a child because of a 'problem with his foreskin' and I have always believed it could have been the result of MIL thinking you need to pull it back and have a good old clean so I have been reluctant to do anything like that.

What if anything should we be doing?

I really don't know but I'm place marking as I have a 4 yo DS.

FattyNinjaOwl Wed 26-Aug-15 21:27:30

I have a six yo and have always done as you do OP, never had a problem. I would have your DS seen by the gp though, as to me that sounds like a uti.

fuzzpig Wed 26-Aug-15 21:28:08

DS is nearly 6 and I haven't done anything! Wasn't aware in should.

BathshebaDarkstone Wed 26-Aug-15 21:29:24

I have a 4yo boy and have just asked DH if you're supposed to wash under the foreskin, he says yes, otherwise crap builds up. I always thought a good soak in the bath would sort that. confused

AbeSaidYes Wed 26-Aug-15 21:35:26

Ah heck, didn't think of a uti. Will try to get him to docs. What would cause a uti?

DixieNormas Wed 26-Aug-15 21:35:44

Usually with balanitis they have difficulty pulling the foreskin back.

I have 2 ds who have had problems with the foreskin. The eldest had to have his circumcised when he was 8. Both their consultants said to leave it alone until they are able to pull it back themselves. Then just wash with water. You have to be careful with soap as if it isn't washed off properly it solidifies under the foreskin which is painful.

Mine have started cleaning it around 7-8, ds3 who is 4 can pull it back and does in the bath (everywhere but we don't wash it with anything yet

Totalshambles Wed 26-Aug-15 21:36:50

We had this exact situation. The doctor made me feel very neglectful for not pulling it back and cleaning thoroughly. She pulled it right back herself which was very uncomfortable for my son and which i wish i had not allowed. It was not ready to be retracted and it should not have been forced. Turns out most other doctors say leave well alone and generally feel that the first person to pull back the foreskin should be the owner of that foreskin. I didn't take the original doctors advice and i left it well alone. The soreness cleared up with some sudocrem applied to general area. I just really regret allowing a doctor to do something to my child that i felt instinctively uncomfortable about.

Totalshambles Wed 26-Aug-15 21:38:04

And to add, it usually retracts when its ready - and the owner discovers this new skill themselves. At that stage it should be cleaned - by the child.

AbeSaidYes Wed 26-Aug-15 21:41:03

Thanks totals, I do have a fear that the GP will pull it back but thinking now it sounds like a uti ... Have read the NHS page and he does hold his wee for a very long time so I wonder if that has either caused it or is a symptom. Will call GP tomorrow.

DixieNormas Wed 26-Aug-15 21:42:03

And small boys don't have the smegma issues older boys/adults have

Lozislovely Wed 26-Aug-15 21:42:24

My youngest (now 16) mentioned 'issues' with tightness at 13. I'd never known about trying to stretch/pull back foreskin before then hmm

GP prescribed a tube of some sort of cream (can't remember the name) and told DS to rub into/onto foreskin each evening. After a few weeks he said everything felt a bit better smile

Wish I'd known more when he was younger but GPs/HV didn't give out any info about potential issues.

DixieNormas Wed 26-Aug-15 21:43:16

Can he pull it back yet?

wickedlazy Wed 26-Aug-15 21:44:28

When ds was in nappies, I cleaned all the nooks and crannies -- but not the foreskin, ouch!--From he was potty trained, I've taught him to use a flannel to wipe around the base and stuff. Now he's 4, I supervise him while he washes himself (still do his hair). I have a quick look when i'm drying him (he's not good at doing this himself yet) for any redness or signs of irritation. Nothing so far. More worried about proper bum cleaning atm.

Lozislovely Wed 26-Aug-15 21:44:57

Oh and when he did see male GP at 13, GP pulled back his foreskin so hard that DS thought I and everyone else would have heard his screams from the waiting room shockshockshock

frazzledbutcalm Wed 26-Aug-15 21:59:48

Ds2 (aged10) ... frequently suffers balanitis - inflammation, pain, swelling. Over the years we've seen different doctors - half mention circumcision, half say leave alone. We always get antibiotics and it clears up within a few days. I voiced concerns last time with our lovely GP and she said for ds to pull foreskin back as far as it will go and wash with water. Some boys foreskin pulls back all the way, others barely at all (ds is the latter). It usually sorts itself out during/after puberty. She said her brother is a consultant urologist and the advice now is to leave boys well alone until after puberty.

I'm now settled with ds's problem and am happy to leave it and see what happens in a few years.

AbeSaidYes Thu 27-Aug-15 00:01:48

I have no idea if he can pull it back. He's not a fiddly kind of kid to be honest and I generally leave him to it. He only has one testicle but not sure that's in any way relevant.

I know so little about penises to be honest, I asked my DH to have a look at DS's but because he (DH) was circumcised so little I am not sure even he knows what to look out for. Good to here that smegma is not a pre-schooler kind of issue though.

AbeSaidYes Thu 27-Aug-15 00:03:19

Ps, this isn't a foreskin thing I don't think... It's the base (by which I mean the but connected to his body) that he says hurts.

LL0015 Thu 27-Aug-15 00:10:15

As an aside to the general discussion...
My Ds 4 and stbxh have their foreskin and zero problems.
My new DP and both his sons have had foreskin problems.
DP wS circumcised in his twenties because it wouldn't pull back but it took until he reached sexual age to know it was an issue.
His eldest son was circumcised about 2 zany his younger wasn't.

His best example to explain the problem was that pee sprayed everywhere for them.

My Ds and stbxh always have a perfect stream. Every time.

Clearly I'm not medical. Just anecdotal.

amarmai Thu 27-Aug-15 20:06:59

never touched either of my boys' penises . They are not boys anymore and the only time there was a problem was when a cruel bastard of a doctor 'stretched' my first son's foreskin a week after a premature birth. The scream curdled my blood and i can never forget. Leave well enuf alone and monitor the doctors .

frazzledbutcalm Thu 27-Aug-15 21:21:55

Omg that's awful ama shock

Abe ... my ds doesn't always have problems with his foreskin, the swelling and redness is often along the side of his penis. According to doctors this is still because of his foreskin. However, we've monitored when he has problems and it's always when he's had a bath (he usually always has showers) - we assume the shampoo/shower gel irritates him. Doctors won't believe this though, even though it only flares up after the odd times he's had baths. But what would I know, I'm only a mum, not a doctor wink

amarmai Thu 27-Aug-15 22:29:10

exactly fraz-but we know our children better than any doctor. Don't hesitate to question them before and after they do anything.

DixieNormas Fri 28-Aug-15 00:03:35

One way to monitor it is to watch them when they wee, the foreskin tends to balloon if there is a problem with the foreskin being tight.

Not sure about problems with the Base, I'd assume it might have rubbed on his pants and become irritated or something.

Utis tend to cause problems with the tip of the Penis, not the base

makingmiracles Fri 28-Aug-15 00:21:21

hmm I was always told leave well alone, but I don't always think that is the best advice. exdp required a penis op early teens, nowdp also had to have circumcision, but was left till he was late teens, he had an awful time and feels something shouldve been done when he was younger, not a nice experience and his confidence and self esteem were knocked massively.

ive told my pre teen boys to start pulling back and wash as they are getting hard white buildup under the foreskin (smegma??) which causes it to hurt if not removed, one can pull it back, the other one its attached on one side, I think he will require an op and will be getting dr opinion on it shortly and if so will push for op in younger yrs rather than when hes older.

LL0015 Fri 28-Aug-15 08:41:18

Could his pants be getting too small? DS (ahem) has quite a long penis and needs pants with a bulge shape at the front. He also gets heat eczema and has had this on the top base of his penis.
I bought bigger pants and that helped. Mind you his ass is so skinny, pants are a nightmare. I get his in next.

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