Infected Circumcision in Children

Infected Circumcision in Children

Infected circumcision is an infection in the area where a circumcision was done. A circumcision is a surgical procedure to remove the foreskin of the penis.

What are the causes?

This condition is most commonly caused by bacteria. Some types of bacteria that normally live on the skin can cause an infection if they spread to the surgical area. Bacteria from a dirty diaper can also cause an infection.

What increases the risk?

This condition is more likely to develop in:

  • Boys who had a circumcision done more than two months after birth.
  • Boys whose penis got dirty after circumcision.
  • Boys who sit in a dirty diaper for too long.

What are the signs or symptoms?

Symptoms of this condition include:

  • Fever.
  • Redness.
  • Swelling.
  • Pain.
  • Crusting.
  • Discharge.
  • Painful urination.

How is this diagnosed?

This condition may be diagnosed with a physical exam and tests, such as:

  • A culture and sensitivity test. In this test, a sample of discharge is taken from your child’s penis and checked under a microscope. This test helps identify the bacteria that are causing the infection. It also helps determine what type of antibiotic medicine will work best against it.
  • A blood test. This test checks for signs of infection.

How is this treated?

This condition may be treated with:

  • Cleaning the penis regularly.
  • Antibiotics. These may be given:
    • As an ointment.
    • By mouth.
    • Through an IV tube. Antibiotics may be given through an IV tube if the infection is serious and it spreads to the blood or damages the tissue of the penis.
  • Surgery. This may be needed if the infection is severe.

Follow these instructions at home:

  • Give over-the-counter and prescription medicines only as told by your child’s health care provider.
  • If your child was prescribed an antibiotic, give it or apply it as told by your child’s health care provider. Do not stop giving or applying the antibiotic even if your child starts to feel better.
  • Change your child’s diaper soon after it becomes wet or soiled.
  • Wash your hands before you touch the penis or the infected area.
  • Gently clean your child’s penis and the infected area as told by your child’s health care provider.
  • Do not use scented soap when you bathe your child.
  • Dress your child in loose-fitting clothing that will not rub against the infected area.
  • Keep all follow-up visits as told by your child’s health care provider. This is important.

Contact a health care provider if:

  • Your child develops new symptoms.
  • Your child’s symptoms get worse.

Get help right away if:

  • Your child has trouble urinating or cannot urinate.
  • Your child has new bleeding that does not stop within a few minutes.
  • Your child has not had a wet a diaper in 6–8 hours.
  • Your child who is younger than 3 months has a temperature of 100°F (38°C) or higher.
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