Note to readers: This is the inaugural post for our new column “Ask Marilyn.”
Ask Marilyn – Intact America’s penis advice column. Got questions about penises, foreskins, circumcision, and sexual function? Marilyn Milos, RN, Intact America’s clinical advisor, has the answers! Submit your question here.
Dear Marilyn: Why does my boy’s foreskin sometimes get red after he takes baths?
—Rebecca M., New Orleans, LA
Dear Rebecca: A red foreskin is often caused by harmful substances that kill beneficial bacteria that normally reside on our bodies. These substances include bubble baths, soap, shampoo, and chlorinated water in swimming pools. When bacteria die, yeast—which lives in balance with bacteria on our bodies—will spread. The result is often a red and sometimes slightly swollen foreskin.
These consequences can be resolved easily. First, stop using the irritant that is causing the problem. Second, purchase liquid Acidophilus culture or other liquid probiotic and apply it to the afflicted tissue (using your fingertips) and administer six times a day for three days. If you son is old enough, you or he can pour the liquid culture into the palm of his hand and dip his foreskin into the liquid and spread it around .
Usually, the foreskin returns to normal in three to five days. Keep using only warm water to wash the penis from now on. Soap is not necessary and is an irritation risk.
Thank you for keeping your boy intact!