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Foreskin hygiene

Why is foreskin important?

If you have a foreskin, you owe it to yourself to practise correct hygiene because the failure to do this can result in an unpleasant smell, soreness, irritation and infection. Poor hygiene is associated with a greater risk of getting cancer of the penis and possibly with sexually transmitted diseases. A man who neglects his foreskin may end up with a smelly and sore penis that could affect his sex life, for it will be obvious to his partner.

It is important to retract the foreskin and wash all of the area at least once a week. All males should practise proper hygiene as soon as possible after the age of 5.

When you have your shower or bath, follow these steps:

  1. Slide your foreskin back towards your body. A male older than 5 years should be able to slide his foreskin back. If you cannot, check with your doctor.
  2. Wash the end of your penis and foreskin with soap and water. (Do not let soap get in the opening-it stings!)
  3. After your shower or bath, dry the end of your penis and foreskin properly and replace the foreskin.
  4. Do not forget to replace the foreskin, or it could get trapped back and cause unpleasant problems.
  5. Also, when you urinate, slide the foreskin back just enough so that urine does not get on the foreskin-this helps to keep it clean.

Do not forget-if you have any problems, see your doctor.

Copyright 1995: John Murtagh, Professor of General Practice
Monash University, Melbourne, Australia

North East Valley Division General Practice, Victoria, Australia, Disclaimer 
Level 1, Pathology Building, Repatriation Campus, A&RMC, Heidelberg West VIC 3081. .. map
Phone: 03 9496 4333, Fax: 03 9496 4349,  Email: nevdgp@nevdgp.org.au
Please note: NEVDGP does not provide an on-line consultation

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