- Recent circumcision, questions or concerns about
- Mainly addresses circumcision of newborns
Normal Circumcision Healing
- A circumcision is the removal of most of the male foreskin.
- The incision is initially red and tender; the tenderness should be minimal by the third day.
- The scab at the incision line comes off in 7 to 10 days.
- If a Plastibell (plastic ring) was used, it should fall off by 14 days (10 days on the average). While it cannot fall off too early, pulling it off can cause bleeding.
- Complications: Wound infections occur in less than 1 out of 200 circumcised boys.
When to call your doctor
Call 911 Now (your child may need an ambulance) If
- Large blood loss and baby is pale or cold
- Not moving or very weak
Call Your Doctor Now (night or day) If
- Your child looks or acts very sick
- Age under 1 month old and looks or acts abnormal in any way (e.g., poor suck, poor color)
- Bleeding is more than a few drops
- Head of penis is dark blue or black
- Severe swelling of penis
- Can't pass urine or only can pass a few drops
- No urine for over 8 hours
- Crying and your child can't be comforted after trying this advice for over 2 hours
- Age under 12 weeks with fever above 100.4° F (38.0° C) rectally (Caution: Do NOT give your baby any fever medicine before being seen)
- Circumcision looks infected (shaft of the penis become red)
- Tiny water blisters occur on skin
- Plastibell has moved onto shaft of penis
- You think your child needs to be seen urgently
Call Your Doctor Within 24 Hours (between 9 am and 4 pm) If
- You think your child needs to be seen, but not urgently
- Bleeding is few drops BUT occurs 3 or more times
Call Your Doctor During Weekday Office Hours If
- You have other questions or concerns
- Plastibell present over 14 days
- Penis looks abnormal (e.g., looks strange or has an extra tag of tissue)
Parent Care at Home If
- Normal circumcision and you don't think your child needs to be seen
HOME CARE ADVICE FOR CIRCUMCISION PROBLEMS
- The tip (head) of the penis is normally very red after the foreskin is removed.
- The shaft of the penis should not be red.
- Most circumcisions heal easily.
- Infections are rare.
- Plastibell Ring: Gently cleanse the area with warm water twice a day and whenever it becomes soiled with poop.
- Incision (No Plastic Ring is Present):
- Remove the dressing (which is usually gauze with petroleum jelly) with a warm wet washcloth 24 hours after the circumcision was done. Often, the gauze has already fallen off on its own.
- Gently cleanse the area with warm water twice a day and whenever it becomes soiled with poop.
- Ointment for Pain:
- Apply a layer of ointment to the incision line. This should reduce any pain and crying.
- To prevent pain, also apply petroleum jelly or an antibiotic ointment (no prescription needed) to the incision line and head of the penis after each cleansing for the first 4 days.
- Reason: to keep it soft and prevent the diaper from sticking during healing.
- The circumcision wound can normally bleed a few drops.
- Cause: usually friction from a diaper
- Will stop on its own or with a few minutes of direct pressure
- Can prevent by keeping the area soft with an ointment
- Expected Course For Plastibell Ring:
- The plastic ring will normally fall off between 7 and 14 days (average 10).
- It often hangs by a small piece of tissue for a few days.
- It will come off on its own.
- Pulling it off can cause bleeding.
- It can't fall off too early.
- Prevention of Infections: Fasten the diaper loosely to prevent friction against the penis.
- Call Your Doctor If:
- Looks infected
- Large bleeding occurs
- Minor bleeding recurs 3 or more times
- Plastibell ring moves onto shaft of penis
- Plastibell ring does not fall off by day 14
Author: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D.
Last reviewed: 11/1/2011 5:36:37 PM
Last revised: 11/1/2011 5:36:37 PM