red swollen foreskin (I read the sticky) **update** - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 49 Old 10-21-2005, 02:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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my son is 9 mo. old and on Tues, his foreskin started getting red and swollen. I looked up some info and read that it was similar to diaper rash - use a barrier cream and change more often. so have done that, we use cloth diapers, so I've been using fleece as well to keep it dry, and letting him go without a diaper as much as possible. I did let him soak in a bath today. however, it's not getting better. still red, swollen, and some of the skin is starting to peel and occasionally is bloody, just a tiny bit ... so the sticky above seemed to say that red, swollen, etc. was from separation, but this early? and it's still not better. I must confess I feel uneducated. DS is showing no signs of discomfort.

**11 month Update**

So, here we are 2 months later and this problem is still not resolved although we've thought it has been several times. When we went to the ped., she gave us a antibiotic cream and oral Rx, suggesting that it might be a herpes infection. So we used the cream for 10 days and it seemed to be getting better although never completely cleared up. After a week or two it had fully returned. So after consulting with ped., we started the cream again. We also stopped using our wipes warmer because the water was taking on a funny smell and we also switched back to the only detergent we'd used since ds was born. Within a few days his penis was beautiful Then, a few days more and it's back. It was not getting red and swollen as much but getting blisters that would swell up and then peel off. Now in the past few days it's getting red and swollen again. I really don't want to use the oral antibiotic just to see if that covers it. Especially after reading here that it could just mask something for a time. I asked the ped about herbal treatment and we're making a mixture of almond oil w/lemon balm which is supposed to help specifically with herpes. So, here's the sad part ... when I said to the ped, if it is herpes, does that mean this will be something he could deal with forever, she said "well, I don't know, you might want to consider circumcising" I know she won't mention it again and won't push us, because she's very good about that, so not really too bothered, but, man, I was hoping she would believe in the foreskin!! I asked her if the infection (or whatever it is) would still be present even if he was circ'd, and she said, yes, very well. She also mentioned it could be from teething, which we have been in the throes of for a couple of months, but it just doesn't seem right.

Anyway, sorry to be so long ... I just want this resolved so badly. ANY suggestions would be so appreciated. Thanks for reading!
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#2 of 49 Old 10-21-2005, 02:46 PM
 
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I'm sorry I really have no idea but I didn't want to read and not post. I guess I would say it's a good sign he doesn't seem to be in pain other than that I just don't know. Hopefully one of the more educated people on here will answer you soon.

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#3 of 49 Old 10-21-2005, 02:53 PM
 
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It sounds like a diaper rash to me, probably yeast. Frank will tell you all about it.
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#4 of 49 Old 10-21-2005, 02:55 PM
 
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What do you use for wipes? My son had something similar on his butt, red swollen patches followed by peeling, raw skin, from using scented wipes. Maybe it could be from something like that?

All I did was to swich to using cloths and clean water for a while and it cleared right up.

Good luck to you guys,
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#5 of 49 Old 10-21-2005, 03:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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callumsmom2001 - no luck there, we use cloth wipes with water and some very diluted dr. bronner's lavender soap, that's what we've always used, so don't think it could be the lavender - but thanks and so glad your problem cleared up

yeast diaper rash?? okay, any more info anyone?
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#6 of 49 Old 10-21-2005, 04:01 PM
 
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Sounds like stubborn Yeast. Is he eating lots of fruit? I would use a calendula barrier salve for a few days.

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#7 of 49 Old 10-21-2005, 05:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mama~bear
my son is 9 mo. old and on Tues, his foreskin started getting red and swollen. I looked up some info and read that it was similar to diaper rash - use a barrier cream and change more often. so have done that, we use cloth diapers, so I've been using fleece as well to keep it dry, and letting him go without a diaper as much as possible. I did let him soak in a bath today. however, it's not getting better. still red, swollen, and some of the skin is starting to peel and occasionally is bloody, just a tiny bit ... so the sticky above seemed to say that red, swollen, etc. was from separation, but this early? and it's still not better. I must confess I feel uneducated. DS is showing no signs of discomfort.

Separation trauma usually comes and goes in 24-36 hours and this has been going on 60+ hours. I think we can rule out separation trauma.

The foreskin is very senstive to chemicals. Have you stripped his diapers? If not, just run them through the washer with clear water/no detergent until there are no suds. His diapers could be holding detergent residue.

I would continue with what you have been doing over the weekend since he is in no obvious pain. Soaks, air time, barrier cream and quick diaper changes.

If you don't see a significant improvement by Monday, make a doctors appointment for an examination. Tell anyone who comes in the examination room no retraction and stand very close to be ready to push their hands away should they ignore you.

Insist on a culture They will swab the end of your son's penis to get samples of bacteria or fungus (yeast) and that will be transferred to a petri dish to grow a couple of days to positively identify the bacteria or fungus so that the appropriate medication can be identified and prescribed. Without a culture, the're just guessing about the cause and the correct medication.

The peeling skin leads me to think it might be yeast.

Don't let them even mention circumcision!

Good luck to you and your son. Please let us know what the final diagnosis is and how he's doing.



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#8 of 49 Old 10-21-2005, 06:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks for the all the help ... yes, I have just introduced a lot of fruit in his diet, is that good or bad? should I cut it out? If it is yeast, what should I do?

again, thanks!
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#9 of 49 Old 10-21-2005, 06:47 PM
 
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Sweets or anything with sugar will feed a yeast infection when given in large quantities. Many fruits contain significant sugars naturally. That's why we eat them instead of feeding them to animals. :LOL



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#10 of 49 Old 10-21-2005, 07:56 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Frankly Speaking
The foreskin is very senstive to chemicals. Have you stripped his diapers? If not, just run them through the washer with clear water/no detergent until there are no suds. His diapers could be holding detergent residue.
Frank, you've been hanging out here so long, you even know CD lingo!! :LOL :LOL :LOL

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#11 of 49 Old 10-21-2005, 10:30 PM
 
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if you think it might be yeast, you can just get some over the counter 'lotrimin' cream. It did the trick for my little guy (on our ped's recommendation)
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#12 of 49 Old 10-21-2005, 10:58 PM
 
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It sounds like yeast to me, too. I would just get a tube of 7 day Monistat or generic equivalent and try putting that on twice a day and see if that helps. Usually only takes overnight when my ds's have had this. I'm very prone to yeast myself and it seems like my boys are too while they're nursing. Ds1 still gets a yeast rash about once a year, though, adn he's not even in diapers anymore.
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#13 of 49 Old 10-21-2005, 11:41 PM
 
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It does sound like yeast. My DS has had something similar this week, only it was on his balls instead of his foreskin. I'm treating it with miconazole cream and covering it with a barrier cream, it is starting to get better now. You might want to add some vinegar to the rinse in your diaper laundry.

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#14 of 49 Old 10-21-2005, 11:51 PM
 
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Just be glad he has a foreskin or this rash would be on his glans. It means his foreskin is doing it's job.

I second the recommendations to strip the diapers and use a monistat-type cream.

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#15 of 49 Old 10-22-2005, 02:08 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Quirky
Frank, you've been hanging out here so long, you even know CD lingo!! :LOL :LOL :LOL
Some of it sinks in by osmosis if nothing else! :


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#16 of 49 Old 10-22-2005, 05:31 PM
 
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Please note that barrier creams may keep an area more moist and that is not necessarily recommended for yeast problems; yeast like damp places!
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#17 of 49 Old 10-25-2005, 10:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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so we continued with all of the above plus coconut oil each diaper change to fight the yeast. gradually improved over the weekend. yesterday looked great. this morning a little more red/swollen again. I'm wondering if some of this is from his top two teeth coming in ... hmm.
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#18 of 49 Old 10-25-2005, 04:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mama~bear
so we continued with all of the above plus coconut oil each diaper change to fight the yeast. gradually improved over the weekend. yesterday looked great. this morning a little more red/swollen again. I'm wondering if some of this is from his top two teeth coming in ... hmm.

You need to turn your hot water heater up the whole way and let the water get as hot as possible and wash ALL of your dipes and doublers to kill hte yeast or this might keep coming back. And use vinegar in the rinse. IF the water isn't steaming hot, boil a big pot on the stove and add it to the wash water to make it really hot. I try to do this once a month just in case. HTH!
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#19 of 49 Old 12-15-2005, 02:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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**update** see original post ... thanks!
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#20 of 49 Old 12-15-2005, 02:50 PM
 
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Frankly it sounds as if your ped doesn't have a clue. If it's herpes, which is viral, an antibiotic (whether cream or oral) won't do a thing. Antibiotics don't work against viruses!

Has she taken a swab and cultured it to see what comes up? This is an absolutely basic step and it verges on medical negligence that she has not done so.

And suggesting circ is ridiculous too - if it is herpes, the virus lives in the body of circed males just as well as in intact males. Circ would do nothing to fix the problem.

Does he have a rash anywhere besides his penis? If it is yeast, discontinue the use of any barrier cream and use some OTC anti-yeast cream on it such as Lotrimin. Coconut oil is not going to get rid of yeast - this is really a time to bag on the natural treatments and go for the meds. If it is yeast, any antibiotic ointment will only make it worse, BTW.

Have you tried switching to fragrance free sposies for a week, or perhaps he's sensitive to artificial fibers such as fleece, what about trying him in prefolds for a week? And running any diapers through multiple hot washes to strip them of detergents. What kind of detergent do you use? Is there any fragrance or color in it?

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#21 of 49 Old 12-15-2005, 03:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks for all the input ...

Quote:
Has she taken a swab and cultured it to see what comes up? This is an absolutely basic step and it verges on medical negligence that she has not done so.
No, she hasn't ... what exactly does that involve?

Quote:
Does he have a rash anywhere besides his penis?
No other rashes, although he had a few red spots show up where the diaper ends at his waist and leg, I thought they were from irritation, but then they turned into what looked like little pimples.

Quote:
If it is yeast, discontinue the use of any barrier cream and use some OTC anti-yeast cream on it such as Lotrimin. Coconut oil is not going to get rid of yeast - this is really a time to bag on the natural treatments and go for the meds. If it is yeast, any antibiotic ointment will only make it worse, BTW.
We're not currently using barrier cream, just the antibiotic cream.

Quote:
Have you tried switching to fragrance free sposies for a week, or perhaps he's sensitive to artificial fibers such as fleece, what about trying him in prefolds for a week?
Could fleece be an issue that would pop up at 9 months? We've used some fleece topped diapers in our rotation since birth.

Quote:
And running any diapers through multiple hot washes to strip them of detergents. What kind of detergent do you use? Is there any fragrance or color in it?
I did this when the problems first started, we've only use 2 detergents, the first came w/ our front loader, fragrance/color/etc. free. We used that for 9 months, then switched to Tide Free (I think that's what it was) then back to the original and washed diapers thoroughly.
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#22 of 49 Old 12-15-2005, 03:28 PM
 
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Next time there are blisters, insist on a culture to rule out herpes. If it is herpes, wouldn't you want to know so you could be sure not to spread it elsewhere- eyes, and other areas? My dd (4) had blisters that came and went around her eyes, and after having it be labled impetigo, I finally insisted they culture it and yup- it was herpes. Whenever she starts getting red around her eyes, I have a script to head it off. She hasn't had blisters since then.
Not saying it is herpes, but you should definitely rule it out with a culture. And no, circumcision won't do a thing for it if it is herpes.
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#23 of 49 Old 12-15-2005, 03:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm certainly not against having it cultured and I must admit my ignorance of herpes ... I tried to do some research but everything seems to point to STD's ... what am I missing?
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#24 of 49 Old 12-15-2005, 04:47 PM
 
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Herpes is a type of virus - yes, it can be sexually transmitted but it can be transmitted by other means as well - if someone has a cold sore and kisses you, for example, you can get herpes. It's an incredibly prevalent virus family (there many different types) and pretty much everyone will end up with at least one herpes virus in their lifetime. So don't get too squicked out by the whole herpes thing - it's not like your ds has been going around having casual sex!

A culture will just be a swab on the affected area that gets sent off to the lab to see what grows. Like if you've ever had a swab for GBS while you were pregnant or a swab for possible strep throat. That is the only way to tell what's really going on here - see if anything grows in the petri dish at the lab.

I would stop the abx cream if it obviously isn't doing any good. I would also march back into the ped and demand that she figure out what the heck it is - my guess is she's blaming it on the foreskin (hence her suggestion to cut it off ) without bothering to diagnose the root of the problem.

It's definitely possible to develop sensitivities to detergents or materials over time, which is why I'm suggesting doing some elimination trials to see if you can pinpoint any sensitivities he might have. I would stop using fragranced anything, including soap. Use plain water only to wash, even for diaper changes - you don't actually need to use soap, essential oil, anything like that for diaper changes and it can be quite irritating.

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You know cold sores on the lips- that is a form of herpes that can be spread to other parts of the body- eyes, genitals, or any area of broken skin. Genital herpes (the std) is another type of herpes- can't remember the exact name-one is herpes simplex 1, the other is herpes simplex 2 I think. My dd most likely got hers around her eyes from me, even though I am always very careful. I have to be careful to be sure she doesn't spread it to her genitals.
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#26 of 49 Old 12-15-2005, 04:51 PM
 
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If I were you, I'd switch to All Free and Clear. I didn't realize you were using only the detergent that came w/ your machine and Tide Free, or I would have suggested this the first time. I tried Tide Free once and it cause THE EXACT SAME THING YOU DESCRIBE on my ds2's foreskin and bum. Most detergents now contain enzymes which can be very very irritating to some people, especially when they're on cloth diapers, which get wet, allowing the enzymes to get on the skin. AFAIK, All Free and Clear and natural detergents are the only ones that don't contain these enzymes. Please try switching and wash those dipes and rinse them a billion times. See what that does. HTH!
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#27 of 49 Old 12-15-2005, 04:52 PM
 
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Oh, and oxi-clean also contains the enzymes, so don't use oxygen bleach unless it specifically says it doesn't contain enzymes.
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#28 of 49 Old 12-15-2005, 09:27 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mama~bear
We're not currently using barrier cream, just the antibiotic cream.
If yeast may be the culprit, I can imagine antibiotic ointment could be part of the problem. Antibiotics kill good bacteria as well as bad which opens the door and rolls out the red carpet for yeast to come in and have a party.

Here is a message I posted to another thread:

http://mothering.com/discussions/sho...65#post4283165

And no, I don't sell culturelle, I just think it's great!

Good luck~
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#29 of 49 Old 12-15-2005, 09:30 PM
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As far as detergent goes, try something chemical free like Sun and Earth. www.sunandearth.com has a store locator. It's fabulous for everything, even diapers.

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#30 of 49 Old 12-15-2005, 11:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
It's definitely possible to develop sensitivities to detergents or materials over time, which is why I'm suggesting doing some elimination trials to see if you can pinpoint any sensitivities he might have.
Okay so just to clarify, we used the HE detergent for our front loader for 9 mo. everything was great, then we switched to the other, some sort of Tide which I thought was free of whatever! Anyway, after about a month we switched back to original detergent and washed diapers. We've now been using that for about a month. So could it be the original detergent?

Quote:
I would stop using fragranced anything, including soap. Use plain water only to wash, even for diaper changes - you don't actually need to use soap, essential oil, anything like that for diaper changes and it can be quite irritating.
We've always used plain water to wash and had used lavender soap/EO for diaper changes since birth but stopped that about a month ago.

Quote:
I tried Tide Free once and it cause THE EXACT SAME THING YOU DESCRIBE on my ds2's foreskin and bum.
So if this is causing it would we see it affecting other areas and not just the foreskin? Also, to switch, which seems like the best option right now, do we wash the diapers a bunch of times with the new detergent or just plain water?

Same question with yeast ... would it affect other areas of his bum as well and not just the foreskin?

I can't thank you all enough for all the input!!!
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