Circumcision is the removal of the loose skin (foreskin) over the end of the penis. There are many reasons why parents may wish to have their son circumcised; because the father is circumcised, a feeling that cleaning is easier, social or religious traditions, etc. There are studies which show a lower incidence of urinary tract infections and a rare penile cancer in circumcised males.

Circumcision is a surgical procedure and complications can occur. They are extremely rare, but include excessive bleeding, loss of the skin of the penis or scrotum, damage to the head of the penis or urethra (the tube that carries the urine from the bladder to the outside) and painful scars. Very rarely, infection at the circumcision site results in illness and death.

If your child has been circumcised, there is little in the way of special care that is required. An antibiotic ointment or Vaseline applied to the head of the penis for the first four or five days will prevent the penis from sticking to the front of the diaper and causing pain. A very small amount of blood staining is sometimes seen on the diaper and no cause for concern.

For uncircumcised male infants, it is not necessary or recommended to attempt to retract the foreskin as this can be harmful at this age.

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