Skip to Content
Home > Wellness > Health Library > Cleaning Your Young Son's Natural (Uncircumcised) Penis
It's important to keep your son's penis clean
whether he has been circumcised or not. Keeping your
young son's penis clean may help prevent infections and other problems. As your
son gets older, teach him how to wash and care for his penis.
Do not force the foreskin back over the tip of the penis. At first, a baby's foreskin can't be pulled back (retracted) over the head of the penis. After the first few years of life (though it may take
somewhat longer), the foreskin will gradually retract more easily. By the time
a boy is 5 years old, his foreskin is usually fully retractable. Up to this time, wash
the outside of the penis with warm water. Pushing your son's foreskin back
too early can damage it and cause scar tissue to form.
foreskin is easy to retract, clean under it daily. To clean under the
foreskin, gently push it as far as possible toward the body. Carefully wash the
entire area with warm water. Then replace
the foreskin over the head of the penis.
A boy as young as 3 can
be taught to clean under his foreskin as a normal part of his hygiene. When a boy reaches puberty, he
needs to clean under his foreskin every day.
If your son's
foreskin does not fully retract by the time he reaches puberty, call your
doctor for advice.
Other Works Consulted
Elder JS (2011). Anomalies of the penis and urethra. In RM Kliegman et al., eds., Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics, 19th ed., pp. 1852–1858. Philadelphia: Saunders.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerMartin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
Current as ofFebruary 2, 2016
Current as of:
February 2, 2016
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
I Want To...
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.