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Urinary and Genital Disorders (Children)

4-years old swollen, redness pain penis



My 4-year old son kept having red, swollen penis (started at the top of the penis)and been having this issue since Oct 2010, like once a month. When we try to touch the penis, he complained pain. We brought him to the hospital, urine test was normal and the doctor say it is not phimosis, the doctor also has no idea what lead to the pain. Kindly advise.


It sounds like your son is uncircumcised. It is important to perform daily cleaning of the penis, including the head of the penis, although I recommend that soap not be applied to the head of the penis, because it can be irritating. In boys who are uncircumcised, the head of the penis is quite sensitive, even if there is no infection or inflammation, which would cause redness. Some 4-year-old boys who are uncircumcised have persistent adhesions or attachments between the foreskin and head of the penis, and as these adhesions separate spontaneously, redness and pain can occur. Often, application of a mild corticosteroid cream can reduce the irritation and discomfort that he may be experiencing.

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Response by:

Jack S Elder, MD, FACS, FAAP Jack S Elder, MD, FACS, FAAP
Clinical Professor of Urology
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University