Find out about caring for your child's foreskin, or the skin around the vulval area. Check when you might need to see a doctor for any problems.
The foreskin is the loose skin that covers and protects the end of the penis. The foreskin and penis of a baby or child need no special care. A child's foreskin should never be pulled back (retracted) by force.
The vulva includes the outer genitals in females. The skin around the vulva is thin in tamariki and can be easily irritated. Good vulval skin care can help lessen the chance of irritation.
Vulval conditions are common in tamariki. They can cause symptoms such as itch and discomfort. Read to find out about some of the common conditions that can affect the vulva in tamariki.
Vulvovaginitis causes itch and irritation around the vagina and vulva. It is common in tamariki.
Threadworms are tiny worms that infect the digestive tract. They're common in children and spread easily. They commonly cause an itch around the bottom and genitals.
Labial fusion is common in children. In most cases, it resolves as your child gets older and requires no treatment.
Lichen sclerosus is an uncommon skin condition. It affects males and females of all ages but mainly affects tamariki before puberty.
Circumcision is the operation to remove the foreskin. Circumcision is not risk free. It's important to find out about the potential risks as well as potential benefits when considering circumcision.
KidsHealth is a joint initiative between
The Paediatric Society of New Zealand -
Te Kāhui Mātai Arotamariki o Aotearoa
and Starship Foundation
Supported by Te Whatu Ora -
Health New Zealand
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© The Paediatric Society of New Zealand and Starship Foundation 2005 - 2023 Printed on 29 November 2023. Content is regularly updated so please refer to www.kidshealth.org.nz for the most up-to-date version