Newborn Circumcision Care

After your baby is circumcised, you may have questions. Here are a few frequently asked questions. Contact our office at (404) 352-3616 to schedule an appointment if you have concerns. 

What do I need to do to take care of the area that is healing?

No special care is needed except placing petroleum jelly (Vaseline/A&D ointment) on the penis. Apply a lot, this will protect the area that is healing and prevent the penis from sticking to the diaper. Apply this with every diaper change for the first 3-5 days following the circumcision or longer if the penis still looks as if it is healing and may stick to the diaper. 

What if there is bleeding?

A small amount of blood on the gauze or diaper is almost always present and is normal. If you see blood soaking the diaper or making a spot greater in size than your two thumbs, you should seek medical attention. If an area begins to bleed when you are changing the diaper, hold direct pressure with gauze on the site for 5 minutes. This should stop the bleeding but if it does not do so, you should continue holding pressure on the area and seek medical attention. 

There is something on the penis that looks like pus. Should I be worried?

During the healing process a shiny white or yellowish film may cover part of the penis this coating is part of the healing process and cannot be easily removed with a moist wipe. This is normal. However, if you see a yellowish discharge that you can wipe away, has a foul odor and is causing increasing redness and swelling, seek medical attention. A general rule is that the healing area will have some swelling and redness but should start to look better 48 hours after the procedure. Subsequently, the healing area should continue to look better every day. If your infant ever develops a fever, stops having wet diapers, stops eating or becomes inconsolable, or if the area appears to be infected or not healing, seek medical attention.

How long does it take to heal?

It may take several days to a week for a circumcision to heal completely. During this time you should be gentle around the area and try to keep the area clean until it has completely healed. Most circumcisions will be fully healed by 2 weeks. 

The foreskin looks as if it is coming back over the head of the penis. Is the ok?

Most babies develop a small area of fat at the base of the penis during the first year or life. This is normal and can cause some of the skin of the penis to get pushed up and cover part of the head of the penis. The penis may look buried or uncircumcised. It is important to gently retract the skin to the base of the head of the penis several time of day to prevent the foreskin from reattaching to the head of the penis. As your infant grows, this should get better with more of the tip of the penis showing all the time. Not all babies have this fat pad and so the look of the circumcision is not always the same in different children, even when the correct amount of skin is removed during the circumcision. 

For more information about circumcision, view our health library.

Taken from the World Health Organization's Manual for Early Infant Male Circumcision Under Local Anaestesia