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4yo problem

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hi, all!

I'm new to this board, but I'm hoping you might have some thoughts for me. First, I'll give a little history. When my 4yo was about 7-8 months old, I took off his diaper to find that his penis was about twice its usual size, and dark red with pus oozing out the end. A quick trip to urgent care got him a prescription for antibiotics, which seemed to solve the problem. About two months ago, it happened again, and was again cleared up with antibiotics. Now, I'm not fond of using antibiotics unless absolutely necessary, but I didn't want to find ourselves in a position where he couldn't pass urine because of the swelling.

Yesterday, it started happening again. He has twice grabbed himself and screamed, and he is passing a greenish-whitish stuff. He is not yet potty trained (although he usually goes in the toilet if he's naked, and I'm certainly not making him wear clothes right now). However, unlike the other times, he seems perfectly happy and is playing, running, etc. Dh put him in a bath (no soap or anything) last night, and again this morning, to see if that will help on its own. It seems to be subsiding, but if I find that he is in more pain or swelling, I will take him in.

I'd like to hear thoughts about what could be causing this and/or other ideas for relief. His foreskin has never been retracted. (I watched the doctors like a hawk the previous two times, and they only just barely touched him and certainly did not pull on anything.)

post #2 of 10
Though not familar with your ds's problem, I would suggest baking soda in the bath. Or epsom salts. Probiotics (acidopholous, etc.) will help bring back his natural flora after a treatment of antibiotics.

I'm hoping you'll find your answer soon.

post #3 of 10
I'm sorry Cheri that I don't have any answers for you. My son had one bout of a swollen foreskin which lasted one day and knock on wood- has never recurred. His did not involve any pus, but was very shockingly swollen. The reaction of the skin remined me of a fat lip (swelling up dramaticly one afternoon and quickly and going down in size again just as fast)

Because there was no pus, I always assumed that the swelling was caused by trauma rather than infection- I tend to think that he may have inadvertently torn an adhesion while playing in the tub, and that was the reason for the swelling.

It's also possible that he hurt with a slam, but I tend to doubt this because he is very honest and very tender when it comes to skinned knees and that- and if he had an accident- he would have told me.

The swelling was acting like edema (kind of drooping down because of the nature of a penis) so when I put him to bed that night (naked) had him keep his penis in a propped position that the swelling had gravity working on it's side. By the next morning his penis was back to normal except for a bruise on the underside. Within two days the bruise was gone. I assume the bruise was from the swelling.

You might be dealing with aggravating circumstances because he is still in diapers- both from his own body stuff as well as whatever diaper chemicals (even detergent for cloth) might be there.

I hope he feels better quick- why does this stuff always happen over the weekend. Please check back in and tell us how it resolved.

Love Sarah
post #4 of 10
What are *all* the symptoms of BXO? (and what does BXO stand for? I forgot!) Some of the symptoms sound like BXO, which is a swelling of the foreskin. I think it usually resolves itself, or a steroid cream can be used.
post #5 of 10
BXO stands for Balanitis Xerotica Obliterans... and it is a rare skin disorder that happens on the genitals and sometimes anus of men and women. I don't think this sounds like it. The typical BXO situation is phimosis with a white looking scar tossue at the tip.

post #6 of 10
I babysat a friends son-whi is circumcsied and had the same problem. VERY SWOLLEN and puss-scared the you know what outta me. She said it was an infection from antibiotics fighting all his other illnesses but who knows. I am not much hellp, but I doubt it is foreskin related!
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Well, the situation seems to have resolved itself. I'm really glad not to have to resort to antibiotics again, because he's allergic to penicillin, and the ones he gets really do a number on his tummy. Other than a bout with strep (we couldn't seem to shake it this winter) and the last time this happened, he hasn't been on any antibiotics in the last year or so.

I suspect it is more related to his penchant for sitting in poop rather than letting me know he needs to be changed (and he's got three older siblings, so it's not unusual for him to be off playing for an hour or two, and not where I can smell him) than to his foreskin. I *am* concerned, however, that if he continues to have this problem, I'll be arguing with medical professionals about appropriate treatments. When his whole penis swells, I worry about him being able to pass urine. That or extreme pain would motivate me to take him in again.

I checked out the link to BXO, and I don't think it's that. I think we're going to keep up the plain baths for now. Our house flooded last summer, and along with a string of other amazing stressors in our lives, we haven't been able to use our bathroom with the tub until just last week, so he hasn't had baths, only showers. Thanks for the reminder to use probiotics. He doesn't really like the ones I have, but he'll take them some of the time if I'm persuasive. :-)

post #8 of 10
I found it interesting the lady bebesho2 babysat for claimed her

ds's infection was from antibiotics -

Could it be yeast??

Have you tried a liquid children's probiotic?

ps. I use the capsules and break one into a couple of

tablespoons of yogurt for my 5 yo and 2 yo. Can you mix it into

some small amount of food or drink that he likes a lot??
post #9 of 10
This is probably a dozen or so of these red and swollen penis episodes I have seen and they all self resolve in a day or so with no treatment. I have to believe it is the normal separation process. I think many times the mothers mistake smegma for pus but in this case with the greenish color, that would not be smegma. Maybe smegma and something else mixed together. there was only one case that was recurring and a culture showed a staph infoection probably contracted at the doctor's office. It was treated and as far as I know, has not returned.

I gave that mother some advise that would be well taken for all mothers. Any time you take your child to a medical facility, make sure you actually see the doctor or nurse wash their hands before touching your child (or yourself for that matter) to avoid cross contamination. There was one woman who was planning to become a nurse. She followed a nurse around all day and this nurse did not wash her hands a single time in 6 hours!

post #10 of 10
Totally Off Topic - I used to work at a fast-food joint many, many moons ago and I was familiar first-hand the hand-washing techniques that were all but completely ignored. Blech !!

Only in the past couple-two-or-three years I have noticed SOOO much ignorance of basic hygiene. Prior to that I simply assumed people would wash critical body parts at key points throughout the day. I do.
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