concerned for my 8 year old - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 08-18-2010, 10:21 AM - Thread Starter
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ok. I know I am in the right place for some great information. My son is 8 years old. His foreskin balloons when he pees and has for a while since yesterday he has complained of pain while peeing to the point of crying and sreaming and was also red and slightly swollen. today he is not red but still burns shen he pees. He says it feels like neddles. Even when he touches his penis. His foreskin opening is small, but the urine passes freely. We took him to the doctor yesterday and checked his urine, they said it was clear. The doctor gave me an antibiotic creame and also a steriod ointment in hopes to get the opening bigger. She said for now just use the antibiotic untill he stops complaining of pain. And then work on getting the opening bigger. She said he should be able to retract by now.
And the strangest thing is that maybe about a year ago, he could bring his foreskin back a bit so you could see the tip of his penis. But now there is now way he could do that. Why would the opening change much? And why would he have pain and ballooning? I am so worried. I want him to have a normal functioning penis and enjoy it. Not be in pain. I have been reading online like a mad woman. And can fine lot of info. but It all contradicts one article says ballooning if fine another says ballooning is trouble. Please help!
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#2 of 9 Old 08-18-2010, 10:43 AM
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This sounds similar to what my son experienced. It is probably stinging from the urine touching the newly exposed areas that are beginning to separate - totally normal. You can have him pee with his penis totally immersed in a cup of warm water to get rid of the burning/stinging (let the overflow run into the toilet or bathtub - a little awkward, but it helped my son a lot). Have you looked at the websites for CIRP (circumcision information resource pages, or DoctorsOpposingCircumcision )? They have a lot of good information and links to other sites with accurate, helpful info as well. The ballooning is happening because there is some degree of separation of the foreskin from the glans, but the opening isn't wide yet. That may not happen until puberty or after, and it's not harmful. If you search this site for separation, ballooning, etc. you should get some good information about this not uncommon experience. I'm sure some of the many more knowledgeable people on this board will respond with valuable information as well. Hope this helps!
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#3 of 9 Old 08-18-2010, 12:35 PM
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Please read this thread!

Everything that you are describing with your son sounds normal and a natural part of the separation process. Your son does not need steroid cream and he does not need to be retractible at a certain age (the average age for complete retractability is 10 or 11).

Single mom to the Crunchy Froglets, Keith and Carlin, twin boys born 1/30/09. Frozen for 10 years, now unleashed on the world.
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#4 of 9 Old 08-18-2010, 03:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the article. It all makes since to me. I just hope it works out that way. How can I find information about how the opening of the foreskin gets larger.
I am worried that his opening will always be small, making it impossible for him to retract.
Today he says it still stings when he pees, but not as bad. And he is not crying when he pees, which is great. He is still ballooning and the opening is still tiny.
He is eight years old.
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#5 of 9 Old 08-18-2010, 05:11 PM
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Two things have to happen for the foreskin to become retractable. The inner foreskin layer has to separate from the glans, and the tight foreskin outlet has to become more loose and elastic. Both of these happen naturally on their own over time, with the action of hormones, as well as mechanical stretching from erections and his own explorations. These two things can happen at different rates.

My older son has a foreskin opening about literally the size of a pinhead till he was 8 years old. Then very rapidly the opening started getting looser and looser and almost overnight he became completely retractable (obviously the separation had already completely occurred underneath).

Trust the natural process, and then prepare to be amazed as his body does this in its own good time and way.

You can read more about the development of the penis here:

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#6 of 9 Old 08-18-2010, 05:17 PM
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The opening of the foreskin is a sphincter like the anus it only opens when in use. As the boy ages it becomes less tight and allows for retraction. Usually the hormones of puberty will finish the job if it hasnt finished by then.

I am sorry he is feeling pain. Has he complained of any itching at all? Cause that could point to yeast. I wouldnt use the steroid cream on him that stuff is meant for teens and adults who have having issues not for a boy who hasnt reached puberty yet. It might help short term but once you stop it the tissue goes back to the state it is meant to be in.

What the Dr. said that he should be retractable by now is not accurate there is no set age when it happens but the avg is 10.5yo.

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#7 of 9 Old 08-19-2010, 09:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you all the info and reassurance.

This morning he says it still hurts when he pees like it did the first day. This is day 3. He is no longer red. He does say that the tip hurts really bad.

I am putting the anitbiotic ointment on it 2x a day. Is there any thing else I should look for or do?

How long should he be in pain?
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#8 of 9 Old 08-19-2010, 04:13 PM
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There is no need for the antibiotic ointment because there's not an infection going on. Similarly the steroid cream is unnecessary -- it thins the skin, and you don't need it. It will probably take a few days before he's comfortable again but this is all part of a normal separation process, not a disease process. Just let him pee in a cup of warm water or have a cup of warm water to pour over his penis while he's peeing (sitting down of course) to dilute the urine.

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#9 of 9 Old 08-19-2010, 05:16 PM
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When my son started to separate it was a 4 day process with pain, and then a few more days just "bothering" him. The tip of his foreskin would alternate between looking fine and looking red and irritated.

At first I was kind of bothered by the pain he was in (usually only when urinating or touching it), but then I remembered that we all go through pains as we grow....achy legs, period cramps for girls, etc. It's just a part of life. Nothing to be feared.
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