Among both boys and girls, before natural retraction, the prepuce (foreskin/hood) is tightly adhered to the glans (head) of the penis/clitoris, in the same way your fingernail is tightly adhered to your finger. If you stick things under your fingernail, try to pull it back, or otherwise 'mess' with it, you are bound to not only be in pain, but also fester irritation and/or infection. The same is true with the prepuce organ (the clitoral hood in girls and the foreskin in boys).
In addition, the prepuce serves the function of protection over the glans in much the same way your eye lids protect your eye balls. The temperature, moisture, pH balance, enzyme level, antivirals, and more are all regulated because the glans is meant to be an internal organ - just as our eyeballs are also internal organs. We'd never scrub under our eyelids and not expect some severe and painful (possibly infectious) consequences.
Remember: INTACT=DON'T RETRACT! ONLY CLEAN WHAT IS SEEN!
One friend, a pediatrician, tells parents, "The ONLY thing you need to care for your intact son's penis is a ruler -- to slap the hand of anyone who attempts to touch his foreskin."
Below are additional resources for parents of intact boys. Know the myths, and be informed enough to protect your son and his genital integrity.
Should My Baby's Foreskin Be Retracted? Dr. Antier Responds
Hands Off My Foreskin! Dr. Martin Winckler on the Care of Baby Boys
Forced Retraction: Don't Let it Happen to Your Son
Forced Retraction: Now What?
Don't Retract Clinician Pack (for physicians and medical staff; includes links to the AAP, RCH and CPS organization care statements):
Using a Catheter Without Retraction: My Nurse Did It and So Can Yours!
Only Clean What is Seen: Reversing the Epidemic of Forced Retraction:
Medical Testing: Do Not Retract:
Doctors Opposing Circumcision Statement for Physicians and Nurses on
Forced Retraction: Ask the Experts
The Forced Retraction of My Son [One Parent's Story]
How to Care for Your Intact Son (Home Page)
Basic Care of the Intact Child:
Protect Your Intact Son: Medical Advice for Parents When Your Doctor Says to Circumcise:
The Functions of the Foreskin:
Natural Foreskin Retraction in Intact Children and Teens
Adult Intact Penis Care:
Phony Phimosis Diagnosis:
Urine Sampling and Catheter Insertion for the Intact Boy
Using a Catheter without Retraction: My Nurse Did It, Yours Can Too:
Deep, dark, red, purple or blue: the normal glans in the intact child:
UTI (Urinary Tract Infections) Resource Page: http://www.savingsons.org/2014/11/uti-resource-page.html
Yeast, Rash and Redness: Breastmilk Spurs Yeast Overgrowth, Neosporin Alters Microflora; What to Do Instead:
Swimming, Suits & Mesh: Cut the Lining of Your Child's Suit to Decrease Irritation Potential: http://www.drmomma.org/2014/06/swimming-suits-mesh-cut-lining-of-your.html
Intact Care (and No Retraction) Agreement (Parents to Clinicians): http://www.drmomma.org/2014/10/intact-care-and-no-retraction-agreement.html
Raising Intact Sons:
Foreskin: It's Not 'Icky':
How the Foreskin Protects Against UTI:
Painful Urination During Prepuce Separation
Extreme Ballooning: This, too, is normal:
Hypospadias: Surgery and Circumcision:
National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers publication on care of the intact penis:
Penile Hygiene for Intact Males (Circumcision Information Resource Pages):
American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Care of the Intact Child
Care cards are included in all circumcision info packs.
The INTACT Network: Facebook.com/groups/TINFamily
Saving Our Sons: Facebook.com/groups/SavingOurSons
Peaceful Parenting: Facebook.com/groups/ExplorePeacefulParenting
It's A Boy! Facebook.com/groups/OhJoyItsABoy