Circumcision is a common surgical procedure to remove the foreskin of the penis.
During the procedure, the glans penis is typically left exposed, and the foreskin is reattached to the penis shaft. Unfortunately, exposure to the penis during the procedure may lead to skin discoloration, which is also known as a circumcision scar.
The type of circumcision scar depends on which circumcision technique the doctor uses. For example, infants have a lesser chance of scarring from circumcision than older children and adults because infant circumcision doesn’t require suturing to the extent that older children and adult circumcision does.
Still, discoloration is a possibility and may affect the appearance of the penis. Read on to learn more about discoloration post-circumcision and how you can prevent it from happening.
Scarring & Discoloration of the Penis
As with any surgical procedure, circumcision can leave scars where the skin was cut. Scars in the surgery site can cause skin discoloration around the cut area. Scarring is typically noticeable between the newly exposed skin and the remaining foreskin of the shaft.
The discoloration is common after any type of skin operation—including adult circumcision—and typically resolves over time. Within two to three years post-operation, the bright color of the scar tissue will gradually fade, shrink, or disappear.
Skin scarring and discoloration after adult circumcision are normal and should not cause alarm. However, a condition called purple penis is discoloration that could signal the need for medical attention.
A purple penis is where a man’s penis turns into a purple-red color. The color change is often a normal response to increased blood flow due to arousal. However, the change in color could be a sign of something worse and need medical attention.
Here are some of the many reasons you may experience a purple penis and when to call your doctor:
- Allergic reactions: Everybody reacts to medications differently. In some cases, medications result in severe allergic reactions known as Stevens-Johnsons syndrome. The reaction appears as a red rash on the penis that develops into peeling skin and sores.
Some common medications that can trigger Stevens-Johnson include ibuprofen, antibiotics, and naproxen. If you’re suspecting an allergic reaction, immediately go to the hospital for a check-up.
- Bruising: The penis can turn purple if small blood vessels rupture and leak blood under the surface of the skin. Some common causes of a bruised penis include masturbation, vigorous sex, and skin catching in a pants zipper. When this happens, leave the area alone until it heals.
- Sexually transmitted diseases: Diseases like genital herpes and syphilis cause purple sores, which result in a discolored penis. In this case, you have to immediately set an appointment with your doctor for treatment before it becomes a major issue.
If you’re experiencing unexplained discoloration of your penis, especially when accompanied by pain or discomfort, immediately contact your doctor to schedule an appointment.
You might be asking, How long after an adult circumcision should the penis look normal?
The recovery period after adult circumcision is typically 10 days. To recover successfully, your doctor may advise you to take at least one week off of work and minimize your movement by avoiding strenuous activities like running, walking, and working out.
You may notice some discoloration on your penis after surgery, which is a normal result of the surgery and will fade as you recover. Your physician and care team should support you during the healing process and answer any concerns you may have, just ensure that you have their contact details on hand. We also recommend that you have a schedule for a follow-up appointment post-surgery.
Your post-circumcision healing will be more successful if you participate actively in the recovery process. After all, it’s up to you to make the call if you feel that your recovery isn’t progressing as it should.
Here’s how you can properly care for your newly-circumcised penis and some signs that recovery isn’t going as normal and requires immediate medical attention:
After the circumcision, ask your doctor when the best time is to remove the dressing.
Post-operative gauze bandages can typically be removed within the first 24 to 48 hours following the operation. Remove the dressing by soaking the area in a warm bath.
Ensure that your sutures and stitches remain in place for one to two weeks to allow your skin to heal fully.
You don’t have to worry about removing them if your doctor uses self-dissolving soluble stitches. But if your doctor uses a different type, ensure that you schedule an appointment with the clinic to have the sutures removed no longer than two weeks post-surgery.
If you leave them in for more than the recommended time, you may get small holes in the foreskin from the stitches, which also affects its appearance.
If you experience skin discoloration, you can apply skin-lightening creams to the discolored area to help reduce color differences in your scar. Still, not all whitening products are made for application on sensitive body parts, so consult your doctor before using any kind of anti-discoloration products.
4. Bruising & Swelling
Your penis will most likely be swollen and bruised after circumcision. You can put an ice pack on the area for 10 to 20 minutes every two hours to relieve the swelling—just ensure that there is a thin cloth between the ice and your skin to prevent irritation and burning.
If the swelling and bruising remain noticeable after one month, contact your doctor or the circumcision clinic for advice. There may be more complications outside the normal healing process.
5. Antiseptic Cream
We understand that you may be tempted to use an antiseptic cream. But doing so harms the new skin and slows down the healing process. Avoid applying an antiseptic cream to the circumcised site and don’t use antiseptics in any skin soaks. Let the area heal naturally.
Discoloration Is Normal After Adult Circumcision
Skin scarring and discoloration are normal following adult circumcision, and they typically resolve over time. You can support your penis’s proper healing by cleaning the area with warm water and avoiding any skin irritants for at least two weeks following your procedure. Keep an eye on the changes and take care of your skin to fully enjoy the benefits of your circumcision.
As always, if you feel that your skin discoloration requires additional attention, contact your doctor for help. They may also recommend a plastic surgeon to discuss your options for reducing discoloration.
Have your circumcision with qualified doctors to ensure a safe and professional surgical environment. At the Center for Circumcision, we give you our utmost care even after circumcision. ,Contact us today!
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