Q: How do I care for my baby's penis after a circumcision?
A: Different circumcisions require different care. The most common techniques involve using either a Plastibell or a Gomco clamp, but talk to the person who did the circumcision to find out exactly how to treat it. If your baby had a Plastibell circumcision, you'll notice a plastic ring around the head of his penis. Leave it alone. The ring will fall off in a week to 10 days. If there's no ring, apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly or antibiotic ointment with each diaper change for the first 24 to 48 hours to protect the penis and decrease friction. The head of the penis may remain red and swollen for four to five days. Around day three, a yellowish coating may form, which is normal. However, contact your doctor if you notice bleeding or signs of infection, like an increase in redness, swelling, warmth, or pus. --Jennifer L.W. Fink
Originally published in Parents magazine, January 2008. Updated 2009