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A circumcised penis is a penis that has had its foreskin surgically removed. The foreskin is a flap of skin covering the glans, or head, of the penis. The majority of circumcisions take place just after an infant is born, usually within hours or days.
Circumcision is not a necessity, but circumcised penises are generally easier to keep clean and may even reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections.
Circumcision is thousands of years old, and it is commonplace in many cultures. Some parents may choose circumcision for their sons for religious reasons or for hygiene reasons, while others make this decision based on tradition. While men with uncircumcised penises don't typically have many problems, care should be taken to keep the area as clean as possible. Some older boys and men may also need to have circumcisions for health reasons, such as when the foreskin does not retract or restricts the head of the penis.
It is estimated that one-third of the world's males are circumcised, but the practice is falling out of favor in the Western world.