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Question about toddler foreskin (feel free to move if necessary)

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I'm not sure if I should put this here or in health and healing, so I'm starting here!

DS is 3 and intact. For the past few months he's been doing the "standard thing" and retracting his own foreskin. I gotta tell ya, it is SO NEAT to see what intact little boys do... it's all so natural and you really do see what foreskins are for.

Anyway, today he was retracting it while in the tub and I noticed that the part where the foreskin attaches to the head of the penis seemed to have a bit of blood on it. I asked him if it hurt and he said it was fine. Is this just a normal part of what happens when they're fiddling with their foreskin?

Also, at what point do we start instructing him on how to clean it, now that he's retracting?? It looks like he's able to retract it all the way, or almost.

And one last thing- since he's retracting in the tub, should we be refraining from allowing extra soap to be in the tub? He likes bubbles and I'm afraid he soap will get in there and irritate things.

Thanks!
post #2 of 7
If he is retracting it in the tub, then he seems to have figured out cleaning it all on his own.

Bubbles are generally recommended against, but I do find that they work for us. I always rinse DS off in plain water though after a bubble bath, or if there is any other kind of soap in the water.

The blood was probably from scratching himself while playing. Make sure his fingernails are clean and trimmed.
post #3 of 7
I'd guess the blood was a scratch.

re: bubbles. I know they're not recommended, but I've used them with my three oldest sometimes. They like them. I just give them a rinse off with clean water afterwards (even just a couple of cups dumped over them while the tub is draining). I haven't given ds2 many baths since he started retracting, and I haven't done bubbles with him in that time. I'd probably just instruct him to retract and rinse with clean water after his bath, if he wants to keep having bubbles.
post #4 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by sparklett View Post
I noticed that the part where the foreskin attaches to the head of the penis seemed to have a bit of blood on it. I asked him if it hurt and he said it was fine.
I would think if he had torn anything enough to cause blood, that he wouldn't be saying it felt fine. That would have to sting at least to some degree.

I am wondering if you're seeing actual blood, or whether you're just seeing a particularly dark red variation in the mucosa where there is still attachment between the glans and the foreskin. Without looking really closely, this might possibly look like a patch of blood but isn't really.

Gillian
post #5 of 7
The last adhesions to give way are typically those right at the corona, or ridge of the glans. In some boys, there can be several years between when he is able to see just about all his glans, and when he can reveal the sulcus (groove) behind the corona. The lingering natural adhesions can be all around the corona, or just in one or two spots. I think my last ones resolved when I was 9 or 10 years old, but I had been retracting far before then. They don't really hurt when they finally give way naturally... it itches more than anything else.

As PPs have mentioned, what you saw could also be a scratch or just normal coloration. At that age the mucosal surfaces of the glans and inner foreskin can have deep coloration differences, most of it variations on dark red.

But the final and best arbiter on these things is your son himself, who will typically explore only as far as he's comfortable and will let you know when something hurts. Soap touching his mucosal surfaces are generally not a problem at all. Where soap interferes is when it is used as a surfactant to rub into skin and wash off the natural emollients and bacterial flora. This may be fine for your hands and most non-mucosal skin, but not for male or female genitals. Occasional contact with soap down there and just carefully rinsing with warm, clean water should be just fine.
post #6 of 7
Anyway, today he was retracting it while in the tub and I noticed that the part where the foreskin attaches to the head of the penis seemed to have a bit of blood on it. I asked him if it hurt and he said it was fine. Is this just a normal part of what happens when they're fiddling with their foreskin?
Like another poster mentioned it could be just a variation of normal for him. Or like another pp said it could have been a spot of new separation as long as it dont hurt then I wouldnt worry about it.

Also, at what point do we start instructing him on how to clean it, now that he's retracting?? It looks like he's able to retract it all the way, or almost.
If he is retracting in the bath then he is cleaning it. Retract, Rinse in clear water, replace is the cleaning instructions.

And one last thing- since he's retracting in the tub, should we be refraining from allowing extra soap to be in the tub? He likes bubbles and I'm afraid he soap will get in there and irritate things.
Bubbles can cause irritation but if they arnt or havnt been then use them. Just make sure to rinse him off with clear water before he gets out (no retraction needed) so that they cant stay and irritate.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much everyone! I really appreciate your insight.
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