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retracting foreskin

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I think I am going to need to take ds who is 31/2 to the doctor.

The past few days he has been complaining that his penis hurt. The end was red (normal) and I just thought it was irritated. When he woke this morning saying it still hurt I took another look. I pulled his foreskin up gently and it looked different. He then told me that he pulled his foreskin back to see what was inside. I fear he may have retracted his foreskin - maybe even just a little - and injured himself. He is sensitive to pain and has not complained much, so I had assumed it was only slight irritation. Now I am concerned.

I am not even sure what my question is...perhaps, is it possible for little boys to hurt themselves and retract their own foreskin at such an early age? Have any of your boys ever done this?

I guess I will go ahead and call our foreskin friendly ped.
post #2 of 6
Boys will not injure themselves to any appreciable amount by "fiddling" with their foreskin. When they get the signal that they are approaching injury (pain) they will stop.

You said it looked "different" but didn't give us any details. At this point, it's impossible to give any advice.

It is very common for there to be some irritation and a slight burning sensation when separation of the foreskin and glans starts happening. Your son may have several bouts of this and the usual tip-off other than slight pain at urination some burning or itching is a reddened tip of the foreskin. However, you said this has been going on a "few" days and the episodes I have described usually only last a couple of days. That leaves me only slightly more concerned.

Since your son is not complaining of pain and you have not mentioned any symptoms of significance, it is very unlikely there is anything significantly wrong. My suggestion would be to watch it a couple more days and if the symptoms get worse, call the doctor. All of these cases I have seen have run their course in just a couple of days and I suspect your son's will too. I certainly hope that is the case. Let us know what happens.

post #3 of 6
Flowerbud- when my son was about that age (3 1/2) he complained to me that his penis was ouchie. I did a check (he was working on retractability) and I discovered two raw spots, one on the foreskin and another on the corresponding surface of his glans. These spots were about 3mm across- small. It was obvious that he had torn an adhesion. How I don't know. the raw spots were not bleeding, it just looked pinker and raw. I put a dab of neosporin on it, and he said that tickled... so obviously the pain was not that bad- the adhesion was probably ready to go, like a really loose tooth. I put neosporin on the spot the next day and the third day there was no evidence of the raw at all.

So anyway- that was our experience. You might want to avoid neosporin if you have any doubts if he might have yeast infection because that would be bad for yeast. I doubt that my son needed any sort of medicating... it's just that he has come to expect a certain potocol with ouchies and the more steps involved and he moe colorful th bandids, the more comforted he feels.

Have you been to the Dr? Do you have an update?

Love Sarah
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Frank & Sarah,

Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience. I decided to wait to go take ds to the doctor. Each day ds's complaining has decreased and the pinkness has gone away.

Last night ds agreed to let me check his penis. His foreskin retracts slightly more than it did before. What use to be nothing more than a tiny hole exposing the glans is now more of an eraser head size retraction. It is good to know that this may happen a number of times throughout his childhood and that it is not to early for it to start. I always thought it would start later.

Sarah, initially ds's foreskin looked exactly how you described your ds's experience with retraction. It did look painful!

These are the situations when I really wish dh was intact and had some experiene he could share...thank goodness for these boards and the support they provide! Thanks again!
post #5 of 6

I'm glad to hear that the situation seems to be resolving itself. What is happening sounds perfectly normal and natural to me.

Ironically, your husband probably wouldn't have been much help even if he had been intact. It is unlikely he would have remembered this type of thing any more than your son will. The person who would have been of help would have been his mother who would remember it if he had been intact and would have been able to share her experience just as her mother would have shared experience with her. That is something that has been lost in America and something that will have to be learned all over again to be passed down to future generations. Just think, you will be able to pass on the experience you have gained to your son's wife and your daughters with calm reassurance and wisdom. You will be able to calm their fears just as yours have been calmed here. It is so much better coming from a family member in face to face conversation!

post #6 of 6
Flowerbud... on your second description I think that our sons' situations may not have been so similar- there are two stages to retractability- the adhesion seperation part, and the relaxing of the tight tip of the foreskin... I do not think there is really a set order for these events to occur, but if one or the other has not yet happened- you don't have "full" retractability... nither is a problem and both are normal.

My son always seemed to have a pretty loose tip of his foreskin (compared to the few other intact babies I have seen) So by the time he was 3 1/2, he could have easily retracted his foreskin if the adhesion seperation process was done... but it wasn't...

Anyway- the raw that I saw was well inside the surface of the foreskin and I was only able to see it because he was easily retractable, it was not inflamed or rash like at all, it was just like two small red spots opposite each-other.

The tip of the foreskin should not be torn or forcibly stretched on a young kid- hormones as he gets older are the factor that cause the tightness to go away.

Love Sarah
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