Skip to main content

Circumcision care

  • Tip

    A yellowish-white film may appear on the tip of the penis until the healing is complete. This is normal.

    You will need to provide special care to your baby boy's penis until it is well-healed.

    • Completely cover the tip of the penis with petroleum jelly after each diaper change. Continue this for a full day (24 hours) after you no longer see bloody drainage in the diaper.
    • Look at the tip of the penis each time you change his diaper. If there is any new bleeding, new or increased swelling, foul-smelling drainage, or reddened skin on the shaft of the penis, call your baby's health care provider.
    • Do not use baby wipes until the tip of the penis has healed.

    Some health care providers use a circumcision device called a plastibell. This is a plastic ring that is placed under the foreskin and secured. It will fall off in five to eight days. This kind of circumcision needs the same kind of care except do not put petroleum jelly or ointment on the tip of the penis.

    Ask your health care provider for recommendations and advice about any other treatment or procedure.

    When to call your health care provider

    Problems with circumcision are rare. However, call your baby's health care provider right away if there is:

    • bleeding that doesn't stop
    • new bleeding
    • new or increased swelling
    • a foul-smelling drainage
    • redness on the shaft of the penis
    • redness at the tip of the penis that seems to be getting worse

    In addition, if your baby is circumcised after he leaves the hospital, call your baby's health care provider if he doesn't urinate normally within 12 hours after the circumcision.

  • Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Guide for the Care of Children: Ages Birth to 5 Years Old, fifth edition. To avoid awkward sentences, instead of referring to your child as "he/she" or "him/her," this guide will alternate between "he" or she" and "him" or "her."
    Reviewed by: Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts, including the Pediatric Department of Allina Health Coon Rapids Clinic
    First published: 02/01/2010
    Last reviewed: 01/01/2014


  • If you see this message, you must refresh before proceeding with editing!


Copyright Information

This site is presented for information only and is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice. Allina Health®, Allina®, the Allina Health logo, and Medformation® are registered trademarks of Allina Health System. Presentation and Design ©2015 Allina Health. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED