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Circumcision and Genital Hygiene

E. NOEL PRESTON, MD
Am J Dis Child. 1986;140(10):969. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1986.02140240015005.
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Sir.—One of the functions of the foreskin is to protect the glans; thus, balanitis in a noncircumcised infant should not occur. Perhaps what Herzog and Alvarez1 describe as balanitis was actually posthitis, an inflammation and/or infection of the foreskin, but certainly it was no reason to resume advocating routine neonatal circumcision. Shortly after the American Academy of Pediatrics, Elk Grove Village, Ill, published the fifth edition of Hospital Care of Newborn Infants2 in 1971, which stated "There are no valid medical indications for circumcision in the newborn period," I chaired a pediatric specialty panel to advise the Georgia Department of Medical Assistance whether Medicaid should continue to pay for routine neonatal circumcision. Our panel unanimously but regretfully decided it should. The panel agreed it was easier to care for a circumcised penis than a noncircumcised one; thus, families on Medicaid who might not have soap and

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