In this section
Intact penis care
The intact penis
Children born with a penis have a natural fold of skin that covers the glans (head) of the penis. It is called the foreskin. This is a useful part of the body. The foreskin protects the glans from poop, pee, rubbing, and dryness. It also has important sexual functions. The intact (not circumcised) penis needs no special care. Good hygiene is easy.
How do you clean an intact penis?
- Wipe the penis from base to tip during diaper changes. Rinse with warm water at bath time.
- Do not retract (pull back) the foreskin. Only clean what is seen. The foreskin is attached to the glans early in life, so there is no space to clean under it.
- Usually by early teen years, the foreskin will naturally separate from the glans. The foreskin will now be able to move freely. The age that this happens at varies. Your child should be the first person to discover it.
- Once this is possible, your child can clean under the foreskin during regular baths. They should retract the foreskin, rinse with warm water, and then return the foreskin to the forward position.
Other helpful information
- A whitish mix of skin and oil, called smegma, can form under the foreskin. It is harmless and can be left alone or wiped away.
- Further health & wellness information
Call your child’s doctor, nurse, or clinic if you have any questions or concerns or if your child has special health care needs that were not covered by this information. This page was created to help you care for your child or family member. It does not take the place of medical care. Talk with your healthcare provider for diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up.