Until the late 20th century, circumcision of male infants at birth was considered routine and necessary. However, medical research over the last few decades supported the idea that circumcision constituted an unnecessary surgical procedure. Some critics even argue that circumcision amounts to mutilation and takes away the individual’s right to choose.
On the other hand, more recent studies have found that circumcision does, in fact, provide multiple health benefits over the lifetime of a male. A recent news article entitled "Fewer Circumcisions Could Cost the US Billions" (The News, 23 August 2012) reports on a study conducted at Johns Hopkins University which revealed that men with an intact foreskin are likely to spend an average of $313 per year beyond what their circumcised counterparts pay due to increased health problems.
This is not to say that men who are uncircumcised should begin planning for surgery any time soon. Many of the risks associated with an uncircumcised penis can be alleviated through proper penis care, including good hygiene, treatment with penis-specific vitamins and minerals, and avoiding unprotected sex.
Health benefits of circumcision
Circumcision is practiced in most parts of the world and involves ablating (cutting away) the protective sheath of skin that covers the glans of the penis. While this was traditionally done for religious reasons, research has shown that men who are circumcised are less prone to infection, sexually transmitted diseases, and aids. On the other hand, circumcision is not without its drawbacks, as it can cause reduced penile sensitivity later in life.
Risk factors related to intact foreskin
For many men’s health experts, the recent conclusion seems to be that circumcision is preferred. An intact foreskin has been linked to numerous health problems, as described below:
• Infection - While the foreskin tends to protect the glans (head) of the penis from chafing and provides a degree of natural lubrication, it is also the perfect breeding ground for fungal and bacterial infections. Men who are not circumcised are more likely to develop balanitis, an inflammatory condition which presents as swelling, redness, rash, itching and discharge. An uncircumcised penis is also more prone to fungal infections such as jock itch.
• Phimosis - A common complaint among uncircumcised men is the inability to retract the foreskin fully during an erection. This condition can be quite painful and prevent men from enjoying intercourse. It can even lead to impotence in cases where anxiety over the associated pain can prevent an erection from occurring.
• Hypersensitivity - Men who have an intact foreskin often report having an oversensitive penis. This problem is typically related to phimosis, as the foreskin cannot be retracted fully and the glans is not accustomed to direct contact. An oversensitive penis can prevent men from enjoying sexual intercourse or even masturbation.
Protecting the uncircumcised penis
• Fight off infections - Avoiding infections is often a matter of personal hygiene and penis care. Washing the area under the foreskin daily and treating it with a vitamin crème containing natural antibacterials such as vitamin A can help to ward off infections and keep foul odors related to bacteria from developing.
• Stretching tight foreskin - A tight foreskin can often be treated at home, using natural moisturizers such as shea butter and vitamin E to gently soften the skin. Vitamins C and D also help the skin to maintain its natural tone and elasticity, supporting the dermal tissue as an individual works to slowly retract and stretch the skin, usually over a period of several weeks.
• Reducing hypersensitivity - An oversensitive penis can be a real problem, but men can actually accustom the glans to touch by gently massaging the area for a few minutes every day, using a moisturizing formula to prevent excessive stimulation and friction. Skin care nutrients such as vitamin B5 and alpha lipoic acid provide nerve tissue support during the process
In order to maintain the health of an uncircumcised penis, many health professionals recommend the use of a penis health formula (such as Man1 Man Oil) containing a combination of essential vitamins, antioxidants, and moisturizers that work together to protect against infection and to moisturize the skin while retaining its natural supple quality.