For those of us who chose to circumcise our sons, I can’t stress enough just how important aftercare is following the procedure.
Educating ourselves as much as possible and learning how to clean our baby’s penis following a circumcision involves a lot of reading, listening and practice. For many, the initial visit and procedure is a little overwhelming as our babies are fasting hours prior, numbed and finally snipped. During all this commotion there is most likely a screaming child on your hands either from hunger, need of comforting or fear/pain in general.
How then are we certain we don’t miss anything during our pre-op instructions?
I’m here to touch on the subject of skin bridges as I did some research and found that many families experienced this unfortunate side effect during healing. However, it should be said that skin bridges are not strictly for those who are circumcised. Uncircumcised babies have also experienced such injuries and everyone having a son should take note.
- First, a skin bridge is defined as a penile skin adhesion. It most commonly occurs as a consequence of an improperly healed circumcision, being formed when the inner lining of the remaining foreskin attaches to another part of the penis (normally the glans) as the cut heals.
- Second, frequent erections are the typical cause of the skin bridge in a circumcised male. Although, while uncommon but still possible, uncircumcised males can also develop skin bridges.
- Lastly, the best form of prevention is to thoroughly care for the area by moistening with Vaseline during healing. In addition to thoroughly cleaning at every diaper change around the edge of the glans to prevent adhesion to the lower skin on the shaft.
Although following healing, which typically lasts 3-7 days, thorough care should be taken when washing or cleaning your baby. Especially wiping clean around and below the glans and any skin folds along the shaft. I cannot stress enough how crucial this step is everytime a diaper is changed and at bath time. Once your little one begins cleaning himself, it would be beneficial to make this cleaning routine part of his repertoire.
***Please note the images contained in the links below are graphic.***
Male Initiation and the Phimosis Taboos
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Clearly, a circumcised penis is not maintenance-free, contrary to one of the main reasons for doing it.
As you say, an intact penis can get a skin bridge or bridges, but only through ignorant meddling, trying to retract the foreskin before it is ready, which tears it from the glans – just as is done, usually with a blunt probe, at the beginning of every circumcision.
Thank you for linking to The Intactivism Pages, whose focus is genital integrity as a human right for people of all sexes, male, female and intersex.
Lastly, the best form of prevention is doing nothing, leaving the baby’s genitals alone, as is standard practice throughout the developed world (including much of Canada), with no ill-effects.
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