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Itchy 4-1/2 year old

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hello all.  As the title says - I've got an itchy little kid.  He absent-mindedly fiddles with his penis almost all the time but other times appears to be pulling at it like it is itching.  My husband and I ask him in the evening after his bath if he is itching and he always says no.


Little back history - kiddo has sensitive skin and is prone to eczema.  Allergic to cats and dogs and we have to regularly treat his skin in the hot summer months and dry cold months so we are always checking for itchy spots.


We never put anything on his penis.  There is no redness, discharge...nothing.  Looks perfectly normal.  We are of the mind set that he just messes with it or perhaps it is a tad itchy but nothing looks amiss.


My MIL and FIL however...think he needs to be circumcised.  They had a couple of comments when they realized we weren't going to cirq but have pretty much left it at that until recently.  My FIL said something about possible phimosis and balantis.  He is a CRNA so I respect his medical perspective however he is not a urologist, pediatrician and is circumcised so when it comes to my son's penis, I tend to pretend like I didn't hear anything.


Last night, my MIL notices our son scratching and says "I hate to tell you this but J(FIL) says he will need to be circumcised by the time he's 5"!  I'm like....yikes.gif...whut?!!  Just because he is scratching?  I told her it was normal, his penis was healthy, all was well, etc.  Her reply was "well he can't go around his whole life scratching?"...um yeah.  Isn't that what most men do?


Anyway, my 3 year old doesn't do this but he has learned to fully retract his foreskin and that horrifies my MIL as well.  Told her that was normal and as long as he was the one to retract it not to worry. 


So after all this - is the scratching normal?

post #2 of 10

Umm, it doesn't sound like itching to me. Just normal messing with the penis. My 5yo currently has his hands at his penis a good portion of the day. The 9yo doesn't anymore. *shrug* The pulling and tugging and twisting is all part of the stretching of the foreskin to make it movable. And really, it probably feels good to play with it (or so all the men say). :)


Your MIL/FIL's reaction - is one of the very reasons circumcision started to be so prevalent. Masturbation is just evil, you know.


If it's that big of a deal, then you can talk about appropriate places to play with his penis - his bedroom, the bathtub, etc. And talk about how sometimes it makes people uncomfortable when he plays with his penis in front of them, and we need to respect our friends who come over. Or something like that.

post #3 of 10
I totally agree with the pp I do not think itching is the problem I think he just loves his penis lol.gif: my ds would play with his 24/7 if he could get to it well enough.

Your il's sound like my mom it makes her very uncomfortable if he puts is hands anywhere near his penis if he isnt using the bathroom.
post #4 of 10

You asked him if it itches, and he always says no! Is there any reason to doubt him? It seems pretty drastic to cut off a bunch of skin if it itches, but even more drastic if it isn't even itching at all and it's totally fine!

post #5 of 10

A good come back to folks insisting your son needs a circ because of this or that is, "would you be suggesting I circ my daughter if she had the same problem?"  You may stun them enough to get them to stop.


Sounds like maybe it doesn't itch.  My one son plays w/ his stuff all. the. time.  We try to get him to keep his hands out of his pants outside the house.  I don't particularly like it, but I don't want my children to be sexually repressed either (don't know exactly what happened to me, but I know I'm repressed & it ain't fun!).  


After re-reading your post, I'm wondering if you're having doubts because of all the voices expressing concern over your son's penis.  Perhaps a few, "he's fine, thanks for your concern, pass the bean dip," type responses will get these voices to stop?  Or maybe just walking away & not engaging?  Seems a bit like a mother doubting her milk when those around her say things like, "are you sure you have enough milk," "he's hungry again, he just ate!" "he shouldn't be waking to nurse at this age!" etc.  


Best wishes,


post #6 of 10
Yes it's normal. Do not circumcize! When the foreskin starts separating from the glans penis the tissue breaks down naturally and causes itchiness. It is secreted as what is malignly called smegma. The same stuff excreted by women during various times of their monthly cycle. It's mainly skin cells... So no reason to remove healthy, functioning body parts!
post #7 of 10

My brother constantly walked around with his hands in his pants when he was little.  He was circumcised.  What would be cut off of him?  Would it have stopped him from doing this?  I think it's probably normal for boys.  Some do it in public and some in private.




post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the replies. 


Oh no - circumcision is totally out of the equation.  I was so surprised when she mentioned it - what?  You want to cut something off of him because he itches?!" 


I emailed her several links regarding intact boys/men and assured her he was fine and normal and that his remaining intact was a decision his father and I researched and made together.  She hasn't mentioned another word about it and most likely, won't.  She is a wonderful woman who I love dearly but is of the generation the a circumcised penis is healthier.


My experience with intact penises is very limited so yes, I was indeed wondering if maybe he was scratching versus absent minded playing. 


Thanks again!

post #9 of 10
Originally Posted by 2goingon2 View Post

My MIL and FIL however...think he needs to be circumcised.  


I respect his medical perspective however he is not a urologist, pediatrician and is circumcised


Last night, my MIL notices our son scratching and says "I hate to tell you this but J(FIL) says he will need to be circumcised by the time he's 5"! 


I think I know what is going on.  I'll bet your husband is circumcised.  I may be wrong about this but hear me out.  They see the act of not circumcising their grandson (not your son in their minds) as a rebellion against them in essence, rejecting their advice.  Now this itching thing is going on and they have a chance of redemption.  He needed to be circumcised after all (in their mind)!


I suspect they will tell their friends they were right all along if you do have him circumcised, that their advice was right and they will tell how much your son suffered because YOU were stubborn and wouldn't listen to them.  This is probably all a psychological game they are playing.  They think they are older and wiser and you wouldn't accept their wisdom.  You had to take out on your own!


It sounds like a power game to me.  I suspect you will be right in the long run and they will not want to eat their words.




post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 

Frank - I have considered that as well.  Not so much a power play but that is all they know (circumcision) and that is the "clean and proper" thing to do.  And, I can see how they would think we were rejecting the norm and indirectly, their advice even though we never asked for it.

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