It’s a little bit of skin that is causing a big old ruckus these days: Is circumcision a healthy act, or is it a brutal, antiquated ritual with no real merit? While there are several potential benefits of circumcision, can they really be described as medically necessary? Let’s go through the reason why someone might opt for circumcision, either for their infant son or personally as an adult.
What Is Circumcision?
What is circumcision? Well, it’s the surgical elimination of the foreskin, the skin covering the tip of the penis. It’s generally done in the first few days of life for male infants. The custom that’s now considered as the societal norm today actually originated in multiple religious rites. What used to be performed by shamans, priests, rabbis, or other spiritual leaders is now done by doctors in a clinical environment. While it’s impossible to know, it is said that the surgery is much less painful to a baby than it is to an adult man.
Is Circumcision Necessary? Benefits
There are a number of reasons a parent might opt for circumcision for a son, or an uncircumcised man may decide to go from turtleneck to crew neck as an adult.
1) Religious Conviction. In some religions, circumcision is an important part of affirming one’s faith and commitment. Particularly, it is a covenant between man and God. This is seen predominantly in Judaism and Islam, but other religions also make mention of circumcision.
2) Smegma Solution. That funky buildup of oil, bacteria, dead skin, and emission, aka smegma, can lead to a lot of penis problems if it overgrows. It only overgrows when a man doesn’t wash often enough or properly. It can lead to balanitis and other painful infections and conditions like phimosis, where the foreskin won’t retract, and paraphimosis, where it won’t go back.
3) Preventative Care. Circumcision has been shown to decrease occurrences of penile cancer and urinary tract infections.
4) Diabetes. For some men, diabetes leads to more cases of balanitis and phimosis, and so doctors may advocate for a circumcision.
5) Feelings of Social Belonging and Sexual Acceptance. In the United States, circumcision is more common than is an uncircumcised penis. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with an uncircumcised penis, some sexual partners may never have encountered one before and may be confused, worried about those smegma rumors, or just not into it. While a circumcision isn’t necessary in a medical sense, for some men, it is in a sexual, social, and emotions case.
Is Circumcision Necessary? No
There are many reasons people will say that circumcision isn’t necessary and should be stopped except for religious purposes (which some groups also deride). First, there’s the simple issue of pain. Men who get circumcisions when they are older have more pain, and healing takes longer. No one knows how much it hurts a baby. Second, the foreskin is there because it has a bodily function. It protects the penis and urinary opening from bacteria, fungus, and infection. Finally, with minimal scientifically proven benefits, circumcision raises a lot of ethical concerns and is now linked to genital mutilation practices, which happen all over the world to both women and men.
Is Circumcision Necessary? You Decide
There’s no good answer when it comes to a circumcised penis versus an uncircumcised penis. It is a personal choice, and many times, a man’s parents make it for him. Regardless of whether or not a man has foreskin, he still needs to take care of his penis.
In addition to the usual advice like get regular exercise, eat a healthy diet, sleep well, and maintain a healthy weight, daily grooming and cleaning also should be a big part of penis health.
Wash the penis carefully each day with warm water and a mild cleanser. Pat dry (don’t rub!) with a soft towel or air dry if possible. Put a cherry on top with a specially formulated penis health creme (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil, which has been clinically proven safe and mild for the skin). By using a crème made expressly for delicate penile skin, a man can protect, rejuvenate, and preserve sensitivity while fighting off bacteria and nerve damage. To do this, choose a crème with vitamins A, B, C, D, and E, as well as very necessary amino acids like L-arginine and L-carnitine. Doing so will keep the penis fresh, strong, and invigorated.