or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Pregnancy and Birth › Understanding Circumcision › 18 mo, sudden lump under intact foreskin
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

18 mo, sudden lump under intact foreskin

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

My 18 month old son is intact, has never been retracted, nor has had any "q-tip cleaning" of any sort. He has not had any issues since birth. Just today I noticed a lump under his forskin when it was pulled down snug, but not tight, I did not retract or go any further than I have seen him do himself, and did not cause any discomfort. It was right under the head of the penis and about the size of a small flatish bean seed. It appeared pale/white, and was distictly firm with defined edges. I have rabbits and have had experience dealing with encapsuled abcesses, and with how thin the skin is that is what it reminded me of. It was really close to the edge of the forskin, so is not very deep. The glans underneath looked slightly red(normally pink), but not angry like an infected area, and the area around the lump looks healthy as well. Because it is so new and I have no idea what it is(off to research while you give your experience) one thing that did come to mind is that we do alot of spong bathing as needed, and the kids only get a real bath every week to week and a half, we almost always use no soap and if we do it is very little baby soap(I know, I prefer non over baby soap, but older DD enjoys the bubbles). So maybe without the often chances to soften under the water, a secreting avenue may have been blocked and caused a backup like a plugged milk duct. Anyways any ideas, or references to dependable sources would be appriciated, since this is our first odd occurance like I said I know little at this point. He is in bed for the night, but I was thinking tomorrow he can have a nice long bath and we can take a look and go from there, but wonder if this may not be the best thing for him until I know just what it is.

post #2 of 6
Thread Starter 

Could this just be a smegma? How would I know if it was not?

post #3 of 6

It might be a smegma pearl. 


This is an excerpt from Paul Fleiss' article "Protect your uncircumcised son" written for and hosted here at Mothering (the opening line represents something an uninformed doctor might tell a parent)


Your son has cysts under his foreskin. He needs to be circumcised.

During the period when the foreskin is undergoing the slow process of detaching itself from the glans, sloughed skin cells (smegma) may collect into small pockets of white "pearls." These are not cysts. Some doctors mistakenly think that the smegma under the foreskin is an infection, even though it is white rather than red, is cold to the touch, and is painless. As the foreskin proceeds with detachment, the body will do its job, and these pearls will pass out of the foreskin all by themselves. These collected pockets of cells are nothing to worry about. They are simply an indication that the natural process of detachment is occurring. 

post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

I believe it is a smegma. I found the same info you posted, and have decided that it is not anything to be concerned about unless I see clear signs uf infection, and that until then it is safer to keep him away from the doctor. I just really wasn't sure. When I was pg with DD I had tons of time to research everything about newborn girls because I knew she was a girl. But with DS I no longer had the spare time I did when I wasn't a mom, lol, and figured I would have to learn it as I go. I'm just thankful MDC has such promt responses, even if I do find the info first, thankyou ;)

post #5 of 6
There is also something called a perpetual cyst and from your description I am thinking it sounds more like the cyst rather than a pearl since you where able to visualize it a pearl if you saw it it could have came out.

Either way it is no big deal at all. Here is a picture of a cyst. Preputial Cyst http://www.cirp.org/library/hygiene/camille1/figure2.jpg Note: The penis in this picture is fully retracted something that should NOT be done. Sometimes known as a Keratin Pearl caused by dead skin cells accumulating under the top layer of skin on the glans. The appearance of swelling may occur sporadically as preputial cysts break through adhesions (push up against them) to allow separation of the prepuce, foreskin, from the glans. These whitish cysts are sometimes mistaken for pus due to infection, but they merely represent sterile collections of dead skin. It is a lot like a Smegma pearl but is not between the glans and foreskin but under the skin of the glans. In either case nothing special needs to be done.
post #6 of 6


Originally Posted by Chronic Chrissy View Post

maybe without the frequent chances to soften under the water, a secreting avenue may have been blocked and caused a backup like a plugged milk duct.

I don't know of anything he'd be secreting.  As others have said it's probably an accumulation of sloughed off skin debris that is natural, normal, and harmless.  Has he got any actual symptoms to suggest a problem? 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Understanding Circumcision
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Pregnancy and Birth › Understanding Circumcision › 18 mo, sudden lump under intact foreskin