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I’m a single mum with a 10 year old boy. A work colleague of mine told me today about how her son has ended up with an infection because he hadn’t been cleaning his willy properly. Her GP was apparently unhappy that she hadn’t taught her son how to clean himself properly. I didn’t have my son circumcised, and I left his foreskin alone when he growing up as I was told to do. I guess I had always thought I would have a conversation with my son about this at some point, but it’s never come up.

My question is, for those of you with uncircumcised boys, when did you/they start to roll their foreskin back for cleaning? Did any of you do it when you were changing and bathing your boys? If you didn’t how did you deal with the hygiene issue, i.e. did you teach/show them?


Posted anonymously, 1st October 2014


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  • I just sucked it clean till he was 14 then he did it himself and never got a infection hope this helps


  • When you never had a conversation before, just start the conversation now ! Start the conversation about personal hygiene in general and then more detailed about how to wash specific area’s like belly button, between the toes, behind the ears, under his armpits and how to roll the foreskin back to clean his penis. I’m sure he will be taught at school as well during the interrelate lessons in year 5/6


  • My son is 8 and ever since he started washing himself, I taught him to gently pull the foreskin back and to wash properly.


  • Hi mom,
    All though some doctors hate us googling medical problems, I do find google handy and helpful at times.
    If you google “Cleaning an uncircumcised penis” you will be welcomed with a wide range of sites with very helpful advice like Care for an Uncircumcised Penis – HealthyChildren.org
    https://www.healthychildren.org/…care/…/Care-for-an-Uncircumcised-Pe…
    or Foreskin care | Better Health Channel
    http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/BHCV2/bhcarticles.nsf/…/Foreskin_care
    to name but two.
    My hubby is circumcised but my 23 yr old son is uncircumcised and he was told at a young age to make sure he cleans his penis every day. He has never experienced any problems, though I must admit we use Cetaphil as a body wash.
    I do feel that you need to have a caring talk to your son and ask about his personal hygiene routine and if indeed it needs tweaking start now, but hey your son may well be in-tune with his body and is already doing what is needed.
    All the very best to you and your young man. :-)


  • My youngest son is 4 and washes his own in the bath and has been gently pulling the foreskin back for over a year. When he was in nappies, he had thrush once but that cleared very quickly with cream from the doctor and he has not had a problem since. My eldest son is 15 and has never had a problem.


  • Wow, good points to know in comments.


  • I always got told from when there for skin pulls away itself then to start doing it properly and teaching them sometimes as early as 5 years old.


  • I told my son around 4 or 5 as I was told it was important to make sure they could pull the skin back to tell them to wash it by doing that


  • My husband is circumcised, so I asked our GP about this at one of my son’s check-ups. She actually said that although it’s important not to force the foreskin back, boys do need to be taught to gently stretch the skin back to help it loosen. She also said that boys should pull the skin back when they pee, because otherwise pee can get trapped underneath, which I didn’t know.


  • I have a 3 and 5 year old and the 5 year old cleans it himself when he is in the bath, we just told him to pull the skin back very gently so that it doesn’t hurt and give it a gentle clean with his fingers or a wet face washer. I was told by a dr not to pull the foreskin back to early on maybe before the age of three or four I can’t be certain, but it’s because it can cause scarring and other problems.


  • Hi there.
    I have a 3 & 5 year old. A nurse told me that the boys would start playing with their willy and pull the skin up & down themselves. Never force it down yourself when they are younger or you could do some damage & cause other problems with the head of the penis and the skin that is still attached inside.
    Once my boys figured out the skin rolls down (age about 2ish) that’s when I told them to clean it. Especially every time they were in the bath or shower with bit of soap& water. And also to dry the pee hole once they finished they’re wee. Or else it will get infected.
    Tell your boy either clean it or threaten him to see a doctor.
    Good luck.


  • I have a 7yo son an I’ve never done it.. He just washes it normally, we have had no problem yet..


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