What is Involved in the Circumcision Healing Process?

Lainie Petersen

The circumcision healing process typically takes about five to seven days in infants, though older boys and men may find that the process takes much longer, up to three weeks in length. Parents and caretakers of infant boys should apply petroleum jelly to the side of the circumcision in order to protect the wound from irritation from urination and being in a diaper. Older boys and men who undergo circumcision should change their dressings on a daily basis and keep the site clean using mild and unscented soap. Although the risks of complications during circumcision healing are relatively low, it is important for patients or their caretakers to keep an eye on the wound so as to ensure that it is healing properly and that infection does not set in.

Parents and caretakers of infant boys should apply petroleum jelly to the side of the circumcision in order to protect the wound from irritation from urination and being in a diaper.
Parents and caretakers of infant boys should apply petroleum jelly to the side of the circumcision in order to protect the wound from irritation from urination and being in a diaper.

Circumcision is a procedure in which the foreskin of the penis is removed through surgical means. While modern medicine generally considers circumcision to be unnecessary to the protection of a man's overall health, many religions require it of male adherents. In some rare cases, the procedure may be required to address a physical problem or defect. In some countries, particularly the United States, circumcision is often performed on infant boys for nonreligious reasons but at parental request. It is more rarely performed on older boys or adult men; when it is, it is typically because of a medical issue.

Complications of a circumcision can include excessive pain or inflammation of the entire penis.
Complications of a circumcision can include excessive pain or inflammation of the entire penis.

When parents bring home their newly circumcised infant, they are usually told by health care professionals to cover the circumcision area and head of their son's penis with petroleum jelly whenever they change his diaper. Eventually, a yellowish scab will develop and drop off after a few days. Older boys and men may be encouraged to refrain from extensive physical activity and to change dressings on a daily basis. Immediately after the procedure, many men and older boys may find that applying ice packs to the affected area for a day or so afterward can ease the pain during the healing process.

The circumcision healing process may take up to seven days in infants.
The circumcision healing process may take up to seven days in infants.

While infection or complications due to the procedure are rare, it is important that parents, caretakers, as well as older circumcision patients be aware of signs of infection or complication and look for them during healing. These signs could include the discharge of pus, excessive pain, or inflammation of the entire penis. In such cases, parents or circumcision patients should secure medical assistance and advice immediately.

Medically recommended circumcision may occur later in life.
Medically recommended circumcision may occur later in life.
Ice packs may help reduce inflammation associated with a circumcision.
Ice packs may help reduce inflammation associated with a circumcision.
Circumcision performed on adult males is usually due to a medical issue.
Circumcision performed on adult males is usually due to a medical issue.
Wearing a diaper may irritate a baby following a circumcision.
Wearing a diaper may irritate a baby following a circumcision.

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Discussion Comments

anon163027

In infant circumcisions, the tearing off the foreskin from the glans is trauma enough to swell up the whole penis because the foreskin is adhered to the glans just like the nail to the finger. The yellowish scab covers the glans which develops thickened scar tissue. Penile ring block anesthetic doesn't work, according to the latest finding and sucrose just immobilizes the face.

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