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Red penis on circumcised toddler

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
DS is circumcised. There's no going back now, so there's not really any point in arguing that we wouldn't be here if it had never happened. As if it isn't bad enough that we had it done, it isn't even a good circ (if such a thing exists) IMO.

So here's the problem we're dealing with. After his circ, he started developing adhesions. His pedi would always try to pull them back when she saw him, and instructed me to do so too, at each diaper change. After the first time she did that I stopped asking her how his circ was healing because I didn't want her to hurt him any more, and I also did not pull back any adhesions at home. She did tell me that as his body grew, they would pull back on their own with time, so I've tried not to let myself worry about it too much. Sometimes his penis will get a little red right around the adhesion line, but I assume that's just from it naturally pulling on those adhesions.

I should add that it's not adhesed all the way to the urinary meatus, but rather just around the edge of the glans, preventing him from having that "mushroom" look.

The other thing that worries me is that he will never let me clean it. He won't let anyone touch it, and won't even touch it himself to clean it. I figured since he doesn't want me to clean it, maybe I can teach him to but he won't. It sometimes gets a little "cheesy" under the extra skin because his penis still hides in his little fat pad sometimes. It gets even more red when it is dirty, obviously. Most importantly though, I want to respect his desire not to have anyone touch it. (I have no idea though, why he has ALWAYS hated to have it touched, and that worries me some, in and of itself.)

I've lost too much sleep over my son's penis. Is there anything I've said above that warrants a trip to a specialist? What would you do if you found yourself faced with these issues?
post #2 of 9
does it look any better after a soak in a bath? (no soaps or anything like that) does it hurt him? does it smell bad?
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by titania8 View Post
does it look any better after a soak in a bath? (no soaps or anything like that) does it hurt him? does it smell bad?
It doesn't seem to smell. No idea if it hurts since he won't touch it or let anyone else touch him. I don't think he likes how sensitive it is, since if it does brush up against his clothes or something he generally jumps and says it tickles. The redness comes and goes (is definitely on the MORE red side right now) so I assume something must be helping. I don't know. I do try to lay off the soaps and stuff when he's experiencing redness. Also, he sleeps in a disposable pullup at night still, and I don't think that necessarily helps. He only wets about 20% of the time, but when he does he floods. I don't know of any cloth that could hold it all, considering the pullups don't hold it all a lot of the time.

His regular teacher at preschool isn't here this week and I think the sub has been putting him in a pullup at nap time. (He usually wears underwear for naps.) I wonder if that is contributing?
post #4 of 9
I've read that most adhesions do correct themselves over time. I suspect your son will grow/stretch and the adhesion will release as the skin stretches. I also have, a-hem, "known" a few different men who had minor skin adhesions/bridges that didn't release but they also didn't cause pain or irritation during intimacy. Maybe you might just want to keep an eye on it and let your son know as he gets older to notify you or dad if it is painful/problematic.

Your son is 2.5 yrs, yes? I think it's probably just fine to let him soak in a bath tub of warm water, skip the soap and vigorous cleaning, and see if he will tolerate naked time. Maybe he would be comfortable in a long tee-shirt without underpants or a pull-up. Maybe the air will help with the redness/irritation. Someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure tea tree oil is safe to use and might help the redness and pain. You could let your ds apply it himself so that nobody else touches him. Maybe it could be applied via a dropper or something so it's not actually being "touched".
post #5 of 9
I'm not an expert on use of tea tree oil, but I do know that many essential oils have the potential to be irritating on mucous membrane. I would definitely be cautious about using it full strength on the genitals. Perhaps a few drops diluted in a sitz bath at most.

Gillian
post #6 of 9
I'd go with baking soda in the bath water before tto. It really helped my ds with the time he had some irritation.
post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by glongley View Post
I'm not an expert on use of tea tree oil, but I do know that many essential oils have the potential to be irritating on mucous membrane. I would definitely be cautious about using it full strength on the genitals. Perhaps a few drops diluted in a sitz bath at most.

Gillian
Yes, yes, it can be irritating and I misspoke. I think it should be diluted in the bath if used. As someone else mentioned, baking soda can be used in the bath also.
I hope your son is doing better soon!
post #8 of 9
If the redness is generalized, I wouldn't fuss over it or see any experts. However, if the is a lot of redness just around the meatus then I would start worrying about meatal stenosis or ulcer.

Often adhessions resolve on their own by puberty, so you can take a wait and see approach.

If the tip is often semi buried in the pubic fat pad, so that it doesn't rub against the diaper regularly, then it is probably still pretty sensitive, similarly to the glans of an intact penis.
post #9 of 9
I would start skipping soap altogether in a bath. If you need to use soap, I would give him a soapy shower, and then fill the bath up for a nice soak and bath play time.
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