My poor little boy--advice needed please - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 50 Old 05-06-2003, 08:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My son is 13.5 months old and intact. About 2-3 weeks ago, along with his first real diaper rash, the tip of his foreskin started getting really irritated--red, swollen, and chapped looking. I figured this was normal, and was grateful that he was intact so that the foreskin was there to protect the glans... Well, his diaper rash (for reasons unknown) degenerated into bleeding wounds and his foreskin got worse as well. I finally got the diaper rash/wounds cleared up last week with a combination/alternation of Burt's Bees diaper rash ointment and cornstarch. But his foreskin has just gotten progressively worse. It is red for probably half an inch, and all around the swollen tip it is now open and bleeding. Oh, it looks SO painful and I don't know what to do! I don't want to take him to the doc, because he is the oddity and it is likely they'll say to cut. (And I don't go to docs unless absolutely necessary, anyway).

What can I do? Here's what I've tried:

~switching from cloth diapers with fleece liner, to no fleece liner, to Tushies disposables, and back again. And again.
~calendula cream
~BB diaper rash ointment
~corn starch
~Neosporin
~cleaning with wet wipe (water), and cleaning only with running water (no wipe).
~lots of airtime
~frequent changes

This does not look normal and I don't know what to do. Are there any herbal or homeopathic remedies I can try? Any new combination of treatments? Sympathy, advice, BTDT?

HELP!
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#2 of 50 Old 05-06-2003, 08:32 PM
 
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I also prefer to treat things at home but sometimes it's time to head to the doctor. I sometimes get so turned off my the medical profession that I forget that they are there to help. Most importantly it is your decision to let them cut or not.

Whether or not you talk him in to the doc, good luck and one last suggestion...

My youngest boy got diaper rash that just wouldn't leave. No bleeding but close. I determined it was a yeast infection and I used grapefruit seed extract (i'll look for the link) watered down and that helped (along with me talking the extract (he nurses) and giving it to him orally).

I'm tired and I hope this makes sense, Good Luck
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#3 of 50 Old 05-06-2003, 08:45 PM
 
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I'd second two of those suggestions: go ahead and see the doctor, knowing that you can accept or refuse anything you want; AND think about yeast. If it's yeast, all those ointments will just make it worse. Maybe you can ask the dr. to check for yeast.

Good luck! And remember that YOU have the final say about his health and there are VERY FEW legitimate reasons for circumcising a male!
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#4 of 50 Old 05-06-2003, 08:59 PM
 
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CORNSTARCH FEEDS YEAST

go buy some over the counter yeast cream and use it in the time before you go to the doctor... go to the doctor and get a culture done so you know what you are dealing with because using the wrong drugs for the wrong thing can worsen the problem rather than fix it. Insist on the doctor getting a swab on a slide.

I am sure with the proper treatment it will clear up really fast.

Love Sarah
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#5 of 50 Old 05-06-2003, 09:05 PM
 
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Just wanted to add that I tried everthing before I realized it was yeast.

We will all be here to support you if the doc says something you don't agree with,
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#6 of 50 Old 05-06-2003, 09:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The reason I haven't felt like it is time to go to the doc yet is because it seems to be following the same progression as his diaper rash, but the sores appeared after the ones on his bum had healed. I am still hopeful that I can heal these as well. In addition, he never seems to be in pain from it at all except when I try to wipe it directly with the wipe.

Is it possible that this could be yeast-based even though the original diaper rash responded well to my treatments?
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#7 of 50 Old 05-06-2003, 10:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh, and FYI, I will call the doc first thing tomorrow.
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#8 of 50 Old 05-07-2003, 12:12 AM
 
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When you see the doctor, if he/she even hints at circumcision ask "Is that the treatment you would use if my daughter had the same problem?" (whether you have a daughter or not) and of course, he/she is going to say "No." and you say "Just do the same thing for my son that you would do for my daughter. This may take him/her aback but that's OK. The same treatment will work for either.

Be sure to tell him/her beforehand not to retract for any reason. The problem is visible from the outside and if it is on the inside, it will be the same thing. No need to retract.



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#9 of 50 Old 05-07-2003, 01:03 AM
 
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hmmm, i've got some redness on the tip w/ both my boys... sam's (which i believe is just more excema related skin probs) and a bit on max. lots of air time, and no lotions (but bactroban on sam's like the doc said, if it looks near infection)... but i wonder WHY are they both red? is this normal? why, why, why???

suse
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#10 of 50 Old 05-07-2003, 02:24 AM
 
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Two things I can suggest; if it's yeast, a baking soda bath may help clear it up.

Try to think back to what may have triggered this rash ( i know- who can remember yesterday much less two or three weeks ago?!) so you don' t (hopefully) ever have to go through this again. With my two sons, citrus was a horror- gave them the same kind of bleeding wound rash you describe. I once had to hold ds1 for two days and nights running, diaperless, with his tushie poked up in the air because it was the only position in which he wouldn't scream in pain because a well-meaning friend gave him a couple orange slices.
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#11 of 50 Old 05-07-2003, 12:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok. I haven't called the doc yet and now I'm not sure if I should. Let me know what you think. Lately mornings have been the worst with this "rash", and there is usually blood where the foreskin touches the diaper at the tip (on dipe and foreskin) when I change the first diaper of the day. At least the 2 days before posting our problem... Well, I braced myself for today's dipe, and where there were a few tiny smudges of blood on the dipe, I saw no blood on the foreskin, and the redness and swelling is all but gone from the topside of the tip. It is still swollen on the underside section though. Should I still take him in even though it seems to be improving now? I hesitate, because I'd have to take both kids and they both always seem to come down with some illness after sitting in the waiting room full of sick kids...

I'll check back in an hour or so to see what y'all advise...

edited for typos and to add that I think I'll watch it today and call this afternoon or tomorrow if things don't continue to improve.
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#12 of 50 Old 05-07-2003, 12:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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AS for what may have casued the rash in the first place, I'm not sure. The only thing I can think of is that for 3.5 weeks he has been teething...3 molars at the same time. And they won't come in! This whole time the gums have been hugely swollen and purple... they look like they've been inflated with a air pump... Anyone who sees them gasps in sympathetic pain, although they don't seem to bother him ALL the time. The rash started about the same time I noticed the ridiculously huge swelling (so did a mild cough), and I was going to wait until his teeth came through to see if these other things would subside...but the teeth won't come though!

Ao, anyway, that's the only thing I can think of that correlates.
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#13 of 50 Old 05-07-2003, 12:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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double post
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#14 of 50 Old 05-07-2003, 01:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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triple post
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#15 of 50 Old 05-07-2003, 01:55 PM
 
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If things are improving and continue to improve, I would just keep an eye on it. Kids will have these things and recover on their own. It's the immume system at work

There could certainly be a correlation between the teeth and the foreskin problem. When one part of the body gets out of whack, it affects other parts of the body, sometimes noticably and sometimes not.

What ever it is, it doesn't sound like it is causing him pain or other problems and there is nothing that could have an adverse effect on his general health. A little "wait and see" time sounds appropriate.




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#16 of 50 Old 05-10-2003, 10:18 PM
 
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Have you tried a little lansinoh, or similar product, it might help.

Mom to ds 9 dd 7 : and dd 3/08 : if I can I go to
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#17 of 50 Old 05-11-2003, 03:14 AM
 
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One thing that seemed to help ds when his foreskin would get irritated (though we didn't have sores) was to soak for a bit in warm water with tea trea oil and calendula oil added...

Hope your baby is feeling better

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#18 of 50 Old 05-11-2003, 10:30 AM
 
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Seeing that things are/were improving I also would also wait-and-see. Picking up some ointment for yeast might be a good idea in case it flares up again. Or a children's liquid acidopholous combination (the other ingredients are also probiotics which all work together and better in combination with each other) to keep the yeasties at bay.

Sure hope he's feeling better.
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#19 of 50 Old 05-17-2003, 08:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I took him to the doc today, because it just wasn't getting any better, even though it kept looking like it for a few days... Then it would get worse... Unfortunately I didn't see the lansinoh post and those that followed, but I'll definitely keep that info in mind from now on...

Get this...the doc said that Leo has phimosis and balanitis. He recommended circumcision since it can be recurring. I told him that that would be a last resort and that it was clear he had an infection and to treat it as such. He prescribed antibiotics and a topical cream, as well as tylenol every 4 hours and as much diaper-free time as possible. I will not be giving the tylenol every four hours, since Leo shows no sign of pain unless we try to wipe it directly or let him sit in soapy bath water. I picked up the antibiotics and cream and have started treatment. He will be diaper-free or in coverless cloth for a while.

I know phimosis is a crock, as it is completely unreasonable to expect his foreskin to retract at such a tender age. And since I was such a mother wolf, the doc never got a chance to try anyway, so how the heck would he know? And how can he think that he has balanitis...isn't this the same as BXO (balanitis xerotica obliterans)? This is a rare skin condition which results in hard white painless skin, correct? Leo's skin is very, very red, oozing some white, and very painful to the touch. Idiot doctor. He also said that if he isn't showing signs of improvement by Monday (this is Sat.) to come in and that he'd need to be referred to a pediatric urologist for a consultation about the circumcision... That doesn't seem like much time, does it?

Oh, and one more irritation... He asked if Leo was still nursing and I said yes and stupidly told him I was also pregnant. He asked how far along I was (16 wks) and told me "the recommendation" is for me to wean soon. Phthhhhhhbt.:

So, whaddaya think? What do I do if the infection doesn't clear up with this treatment?

edited to add that he did take a culture (which made my poor boy scream)
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#20 of 50 Old 05-17-2003, 09:12 PM
 
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I guess removing the infected body part would certainly make sure it would never get infected again. I'm glad they didn't recommend this when I had a urinary tract infection !! (I'm kinda attached to my urinary tract : ) And what about that cold sore on my lip. (I guess they could always claim dual purposes of no more cold sores AND cosmetic surgery rolled into one easy-for-them procedure.)

Shouldn't you be administering ALL the antibiotic first before determining if he's better?

Good for you for still nursing him. Breastmilk is the optimal food for him and also allows him to feel comforted. MANY womyn have nursed through a pregnancy. Including me. Visit the Pregnancy Forum here at MotherDot Commune if you have any concerns. (I don't usually advertise this fact In Real Life cuz too many are ignorant about nursing in general.)
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#21 of 50 Old 05-17-2003, 09:24 PM
 
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OK. I just did a google search on balanitis. I didn't know what it was. On 3 of the websites circ was the last result. So hold off. A few common causes was infection and yeast. Very hard to determine which is which and treatment for an infection with antibiotics will INCREASE the yeast. If he isn't getting better from the antibiotics it is probably yeast.

Here is what I would do.

First off the phimosis is bulls**t. My son is 21/2 and isn't close to retracting. The opening is very small but I can see the urethra.

2nd: I would stop using any wipes besides a clean soft cloth with warm water only to clean. He could be getting yeast from any soaps involved. I get a yeast infection if I use condoms, soap, too much jacuzzi time etc..

3rd: Try the baking soda bath. It can do wonders. Maybe try a little lotrimin or monistat lotion. That was one of the recommendations I saw. My husband has contracted a yeast infection from me and has had red bumps on his penis. He immediately used my monistat and it was gone in a day. have they done a culture. Has he ever had any type of yeast before? Have you? You could have passed it in the birth canal a year ago and something just got out of whack with his body and it took over. Candida is a crazy thing and circ will not help it.

4th: Let him be naked. I know it can get messy but I think the air will help alot. Let it dry up a bit. One thing I read is trapped moisture( a diaper) can increase the irritation. My son is naked(but potty trained) at least an hour during the day and he sleeps naked. I think it's better for their skin. Both sons actually hate having clothes on when they sleep. "
It's too itchy!"

5th: Call Marilyn Milos at 415-488-9883. She may know a dr in your area that really understand the foreskin and logical treatments.

Seems silly that he wants to circ when a culture wasn't even performed.
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#22 of 50 Old 05-17-2003, 09:49 PM
 
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I also agree with contacting :

Marilyn Milos, RN, Director at www.nocirc.org
Post Office Box 2512
San Anselmo, CA 94979-2512
Phone: 415-488-9883
Fax: 415-488-9660

Her email address is nocirc@cris.com

She is absolutely fantastic with answering questions.
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#23 of 50 Old 05-17-2003, 11:09 PM
 
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Whit, I just wanted to say,

OH MY GOSH!!! It is SO amazing to me when these idiots turn out to be just as bad we we're afraid they're going to be!!!!

Altho I know nothing about either of the conditions you discuss, I think all of the advice above is excellent, regardless. (except -- I would NOT apply Lansinoh -- if it's yeast, that will just give it a moist place to grow!) I would do the antibiotics for a while to see if it's a bacterial infection. And I agree that if it gets worse, you might consider some heavy-duty yeast treatment, for BOTH of you. (oral, powdered, prescription Nystatin -- not cream or suspension, it has sugar which feeds yeast -- coupled with a very hi-quality probiotic like Culturelle -- www.culturelle.com -- expensive, but fabulous!) In fact, now that I think of it, after the antibiotic, you should do the yeast treatment anyway!

Where is Frankly Speaking? He always has good advice, too.

Hang in there! And hugs to your little one!
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#24 of 50 Old 05-18-2003, 12:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Shouldn't you be administering ALL the antibiotic first before determining if he's better?
Good point.

Quote:
Very hard to determine which is which and treatment for an infection with antibiotics will INCREASE the yeast. If he isn't getting better from the antibiotics it is probably yeast.
Yeah, I know, and I will watch out for this. The doc did do a culture, right before I was going to suggest one. I'll call on Monday to see if they got the results back.

Quote:
I would stop using any wipes besides a clean soft cloth with warm water only to clean.
That's all we use anyway, so no problems there.

Quote:
Try the baking soda bath.
Will do. It was bath night tonight and we went soapless, washing his hair at the last minute and showering it off so he didn't sit in any soap. I'll give him a baking soda bath next time.

Quote:
Maybe try a little lotrimin or monistat lotion.
If the culture comes back showing yeast or the antibiotics worsen the condition, I will do this.

Quote:
Let him be naked.
Doin' it. He will wear a diaper at nighttime, but during the day I'll leave him nekkid. If we have to go on errands, I'll put him in cloth with no cover so it can breathe more.

I'm also planning on picking up some probiotics...for both of us. Should we take this simultaneously with the antibiotics or afterwards?
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#25 of 50 Old 05-18-2003, 12:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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And thanks, everyone, for all the wonderful advice so far. You guys are an awesome resource and I am so grateful to have you to come to...
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#26 of 50 Old 05-18-2003, 10:08 AM
 
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I'm glad you took your son to see a doctor. I hate to tell you that he hasn't told you anything of value yet.

Balanitis and BXO are two different things. Telling you your son has balanitis is like telling you "Your son has something, I just don't know what it is." BXO is something that is very specific and balanitis is a term used to cover a wide range of infections. It's the difference between saying "I own a car" and "I own a white 1999 BMW 325i 5 speed convertible." BXO is a very specific thing while balanitis is like saying "your son has an infection." If the antibiotics don't clear up what he has, a trip to a specialist is definitely called for.

BXO is very rare and is curable. However it appears that some children (again very, very rare) have a factor that allows it to recur and it is these very few children who will have recurring bouts of it and may be one of the very few legitimate candidates for circumcision. However, your son is not there yet. He is not old enough for the damage to have occurred yet.

Now for the phimosis diagnosis. Again, your son is not old enough to have the damage of pathological phimosis. There has not been enough time for the damage of pathological phimosis to occur. That is not to say that there could be some damage because there could. It's just to say that if there is any, at this point it is insignificant and certainly doesn't call for circumcision. Here is a site that shows the difference between normal developmental phimosis and pathological phimosis:

http://www.mja.com.au/public/issues/...w10610_fm.html

If pathological phimosis should develop, the first line of treatment is betamethesone .05% cream. This is a skin softener/relaxer that allows the skin to stretch and open the restrictive phymotic foreskin opening and is an effective treatment in almost 100% of cases.

When you go to see the urologist, remember that by definition, a urologist is a surgeon and surgeons are likely to take the surgical treatment first. You just need to know that and resist until all conservative treatments are tried first.

Most of all, just relax and be prepared and let us know what happens.



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#27 of 50 Old 05-18-2003, 10:29 AM
 
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Nothing to add to the great advice here except UGH to the doctor and good for you to Whit.

I think we're forging new paths with doctors who have been taught that circumcision is somehow natural (someone here once wrote that many American medical schools use textbooks that depict a naked man with a circumcised penis--as if that's how men are born) and that being intact is not.

If we quietly but steadfastly make our way through the system, more and more doctors will at least be exposed to gentler, more natural methods, and it will hopefully provide them with some exposure to parents who act from a deliberate, well-informed position. Even if they don't change their minds, simply meeting one, two, three, or more parents who work to keep their child's bodily integrity will show them that there's a different way.

Good luck to you,

Mel
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#28 of 50 Old 05-18-2003, 11:01 AM
 
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You can give children probiotics during and after antibio treatment.Add it to some plain yogurt or a drink.Try some calendula soap for daily washing.I use only wet wash cloths on ds to clean up diaper changings.Oh and ot but I nursed my then 2-3 year old dd during my pregnancy with ds.I even managed to nurse her while I was in labor,lol(we had a homebirth).
I am not suprised that cutting was the solution the doctor gave.
Speedy healing!
Sara
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#29 of 50 Old 05-18-2003, 07:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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He's doing okay. The oozing has improved, but it is still just as red and swollen. It's been a little less than 24 hours since his first treatment though. He doesn't seem to be in any pain, and surprisingly is NOT enjoying diaper-free time very much. So I've been putting him in cloth fitteds with no cover...When he pees he takes it off and brings to to me, then signs "diaper" so that I'll go get him another one. : But he's doing well.

I don't understand why the doc said if there was no improvement by Monday that it was a big bad thing. He is supposed to take antibiotics for 10 days, but it is the topical cream that shuld show improvements sooner, and in the paperwork for it, it said that if after 3-5 days no clinical improvement is noted then the situation should be re-evaluated. Monday morning would be only 1.5 days. So I think I'll see how he is doing on Thursday afternoon (5 days) and go from there.
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#30 of 50 Old 05-18-2003, 08:51 PM
 
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Usually infections will respond quickly to antibiotics. They reduce the infection level in the bloodstream and tissues and therefore reduce the symptoms. It is not unusual to see results in 24 hours. However, this doesn't mean the infection is cured. There are remaining bacteria that must be killed and that is why the prescription is continued for 5 to 10 days. If the treatment is discontinued after the symptoms disappear, you run a very good risk of developing an antibiotic resistant strain of the bacteria which means double trouble. Not only do you have the same problem again, when the doctor tries to treat it with the same antibiotic that appeared to work the last time, it won't work. Then the problem must be treated with a stronger cure which may have undesired side effects.

Even though you appear to be cured, continue to take the prescription until it is used up. Better to be safe than sorry.

If there is no noticeable improvment after 36 hours, the medication is probably not working. Most likely, the doctor doesn't know specifically what your son has, thus the diagnosis of balanitis. Most likely what he has prescribed is a broad range antibiotic that will kill many different bugs. If it doesn't work, he will try something else that may or may not work. That's the nature of medicine. There is a lot of trial and error. Most of the time the first prescription will work. Sometimes it won't and you try something else until you find the solution. This does not mean
that this is not a "good" doctor. There are millions of different bacteria out there and they can not always be identified conclusively. The antibiotics will kill millions of different bacteria but sometimes the one you have is not one of the millions it will kill. Then you try another. That's what this doctor is doing.



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