Family Health Guide

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Circumcision Care

A baby’s penis should heal completely in a week to 10 days, at which time the scab should have fallen off. For the first few days, the penis may be sore and have a small amount of bleeding and/or yellowish mucus or crust. The scab should come off at the end of this period. If your doctor used a Plastibell ring, do not pull it off; it should fall off within 14 days.

Parents should:

  • Follow the instructions from their doctor or mohel
  • Change the bandage (or gauze or plastic wrap) with each diaper change
  • Dab a small amount of petroleum jelly on the penis at each diaper change
  • Keep diapers loose so they don’t stick to the penis
  • Wash the penis gently and keep it clean
  • Use a pediatrician-approved analgesic, such as infant Tylenol, if your baby is fussy and you think he’s experiencing discomfort

Infections occur in less than 1 in 200 infant circumcisions, but call your pediatrician if…

  • Your baby isn’t urinating normally within 12 hours of the surgery
  • A yellow (as opposed to pale yellowish) crust or pimple has formed on or near the wound
  • The wound is getting redder as opposed to fading
  • A red streak is spreading from the wound
  • The penis becomes increasingly tender or swollen after 48 hours
  • Your baby has a fever
  • The wound hasn’t healed in 10 days
  • There is foul-smelling fluid or cloudy liquid draining or crusted on the penis
  • The Plastibell ring is still in place after 14 days