Help. On December 3 my son work from a nap screaming in pain. He said his penis hurt. After an hour I took him to the emergency clinic in town where he was retracted, examined and catheterized. I did not know to stop them. They actually scolded me for going two years and not retracting him to clean, that the foreskin tightens if it is not regularly retracted, that I was lucky he retracted so beautifully. I left with a round of antibiotics and instructions to retract him twice a day to put Bacitracin on. I did just that for two months. Since that day he has seen three different doctors, been on three more rounds of antibiotics. Every doctor has retracted him to examine his penis. I now feel like all of the retracting is causing the bacterial infection, or at least keeping it from healing properly. I do not know where to turn for help, I put my complete trust into these people and now have to deal with the fact that I have been torturing my son for two months. Have I damaged his penis? How do I even find a doctor to help us? How do I live with myself for letting this happen to him and worse for doing it myself? I am desperate for help from somebody trustworthy who understands and desperate to heal my son.
Sadly, many healthcare professionals don’t yet understand the structures, functions, development, and care of the normal penis and they do not know how to deal with. A child can be catheterized without prematurely retracting the foreskin! Next time, you’ll know to tell them “Stop! Do /not/ retract my son’s foreskin!” They had no right to scold you for caring for your son in precisely the manner the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends, “Leave it alone!” The foreskin doesn’t tighten when it’s not regularly retracted, it becomes retractable with time, and the first person to retract a foreskin should be the boy himself. Luckily, your son’s foreskin and glans had already separated, so his foreskin was ready to retract.
What bacteria was cultured from your son’s urine for which he was prescribed antibiotics? Bacitracin was overkill, literally! I would like to know what your son’s penis looked like when he first complained of pain. Was it red or swollen, or did he simply have pain? The latter would indicate a urinary tract infection and antibiotics would have been the correct treatment.
However, what the doctors didn’t tell you but should have is that, when a person takes antibiotics is kills all the bacteria in his body–good and bad alike. Without good bacteria taking up space on his tissue, yeast have an opportunity to move onto the tissue, causing redness, stinging with urination, or itchiness. I suspect you’re now in a vicious cycle. So, what can you do? First off, leave your son’s foreskin alone. Then, purchase liquid Acidophilus culture (beneficial bacteria and the active ingredient in yogurt) from your local healthfood store and give him a couple of tablespoons of it three or four times a day for the next few days. If he doesn’t like the taste, put it in a little diluted fruit juice. Then, too, six times a day, pour a little of the liquid culture into his cupped hand and have him dip his foreskin into the liquid and let it drip dry. He’ll be putting good bacteria back onto his foreskin so that it can return to health. This should take two to five days (usually, it’s two but he’s had quite an ordeal).
Finally, you didn’t say how old your son is but, if he’s 4 years old, I want you to know this: Years ago, over a period of about two or three months, I must have heard from ten or so women whose four-year-old sons had UTIs. I was puzzled by this and wondered why. Then, a friend of mine invited me for dinner. Her four-year-old son was outside playing, she called him in to bathe before dinner, and when he finished with his bath, he came into the kitchen to have his mom help him dry off. She must have said to him three or four times, “Son, take your hand out of your butt.” That’s when I realized that, at four, boys are going from the oral phase to the anal phase, they’ve found a new erogenous zone, and touching. From there, boys often put their hands back onto the foreskin, and E. coli, important bacteria in the intestinal track are transferred to the urinary track, causing a UTI. Now, I explain to mothers that this experience is a good time to discuss the role of bacteria /on/ the body, and the importance of not transferring bacteria from the intestinal track, that are needed to help digestion, to the urinary tract, which needs to remain sterile. Hand washing after touching or wiping the anus, then, is important and the way to prevent infection. Mothers have called back to say this information was all that was needed to get the kids to use good hygiene to prevent UTIs. After one bout, no child wants a repeat of that pain, so they’re encouraged to follow directions.