- Recent circumcision (removal of the male foreskin)
- Mainly circumcision of newborns
First Aid Advice for Bleeding
- Put a gauze pad or clean cloth on top of the wound.
- Press down firmly on the place that is bleeding.
- This is called direct pressure. It is the best way to stop bleeding.
- Keep using pressure until the bleeding stops.
- If bleeding does not stop, press on a slightly different spot.
Normal Circumcision Healing
- A circumcision is the removal of most of the male foreskin.
- The incision starts off red and tender. The tenderness should be much less by day 3.
- The scab at the incision line comes off in 7 to 10 days.
- If a Plastibell (plastic ring) was used, it should fall off by 14 days. 10 days is the average. While it can’t fall off too early, pulling it off can cause bleeding.
- Complications: Wound infections occur in less than 1 out of 200 circumcised boys.
When to Call Us for Circumcision Problems
Call 911 Now (your child may need an ambulance) If:
- Large blood loss and baby is pale or cold
- Not moving or very weak
- You think your child has a life-threatening emergency
Call Us Now (night or day) If:
- Your child looks or acts very sick
- Age under 1 month old and looks or acts abnormal in any way
- Bleeding is more than a few drops
- Head of penis is dark blue or black
- Severe swelling of penis
- Can’t pass urine or can only pass a few drops
- No urine for over 8 hours
- Crying and your child can’t be comforted after trying this advice for over 2 hours
- Age under 12 weeks old with fever. (Caution: Do NOT give your baby any fever medicine before being seen.)
- Looks infected (redness is spreading)
- Tiny water blisters occur on skin
- Plastic ring has moved on to shaft of penis
- You think your child needs to be seen urgently
Call Us Within 24 Hours (between 9 am and 4 pm) If:
- You think your child needs to be seen, but not urgently
- Bleeding is a few drops BUT happens 3 or more times
- Swelling (without redness) gets larger after day 3
Call Us During Weekday Office Hours If:
- You have other questions or concerns
- Plastic ring stays on over 14 days
- Penis looks well-healed but not normal to you. (It looks strange or has an extra tag of skin)
Parent Care at Home If:
- Normal circumcision
Care Advice for Circumcision Problems
What You Should Know:
- The tip (head) of the penis can be red after the foreskin is removed. This is normal.
- The rest of the penis should not be red.
- Most circumcisions heal quickly.
- Infections are rare.
- Here is some care advice that should help.
- Gently wash the area with warm water twice a day.
- Also, do this if it becomes dirty with poop.
Incision (No Plastic Ring is Present):
- The dressing is gauze with petroleum jelly. Take this off 24 hours later. Sometimes, it will fall off on its own. If you need to remove it, use a warm wet washcloth.
- Gently wash the area with warm water twice a day. Also, do this if it becomes dirty with poop.
Ointment for Pain:
- Put a layer of ointment on the incision line. This should lessen any pain and crying.
- To prevent pain, use petroleum jelly. Put it on the incision line and head of the penis. Do this after each cleansing for the first 4 days. Other option: You can also use an antibiotic ointment. No prescription is needed.
- Reason: Helps keep it soft and stops the diaper from sticking during healing.
- The circumcision wound can normally bleed a few drops. Most often, this is caused by the diaper rubbing on the wound.
- Will stop on its own or with a few minutes of direct pressure.
- Can stop bleeding by keeping the area soft with an ointment.
What to Expect for a Plastic Ring:
- The plastic ring will normally fall off between 7 and 14 days (average 10).
- It often hangs by a small piece of tissue for a few days.
- It will come off on its own.
- Pulling it off can cause bleeding.
- It can’t fall off too early.
- Fasten the diaper loosely to prevent friction against the penis.
Call Your Doctor If:
- Looks infected
- Bleeding occurs
- Plastic ring moves onto shaft of the penis
- Plastic ring does not fall off by day 14
- Your child becomes worse