Your Baby's Foreskin Makes You Pretty & Heals Burns


Regardless of your stance on circumcision, some people choose to have it done, and that isn't a debate I'm interesting in getting into for the billionth time. But what I do want to talk about is where those foreskins go.

Unlike a lot of things, they're generally not tossed out with medical waste, and sometimes you even sign a release form for the selling of the skin when you consent to the circumcision (and you read the paper before you signed it so you know that, right?).

So, where exactly do these foreskins go?

First, you have to understand why they're used at all. Like embryonic stem cells, not all cells are fully "dedicated" or haven't fully developed their identifying proteins, meaning they haven't quite decided for good what they want to be when they grow up and therefore are much more versatile. This means that they can be used to help cultivate skin and skin byproducts (like collagen) with very little chance of rejection.

So with those foreskins, or more accurately, the fibroblasts from the cells of the foreskin, collagen can be lab-created, and where do you put collagen? On your face! Penis wrinkle cream, anyone? Oprah's beloved SkinMedica product? Yup! Foreskins! One foreskin can be used for decades to grow thousands of fibroblasts.

Another use for foreskins is to create bio-skin grafts for burn victims and ulcers and other large-area open wound sites. Apligraf and TransCyte are two well-known products that use embryonic or foreskin fibroblasts for creation of their bio-skin. One of the biggest risks for burn victims is entry of infection or stress to the body from the large open wound -- adding a temporary or even permanent real skin "band-aid" has shown amazing results in not only reducing complications and recovery time, but in even saving the lives of burn victims who otherwise had a very good likelihood of dying. It's used for open ulcers much in the same way, giving the body a live cell band-aid that it easily accepts.

A third use is cosmetic testing -- rather than using animals, a lot of companies pay thousands of dollars for one foreskin to begin replicating to perform their cosmetic tests on. Not only does this give much more accurate results since it's human skin, but it saves the lives of normally tortured animals. They also have discovered they can use "sick" skin the same way, replicating the sickness to help create formulas for specific sensitive skin types.

There's a lot of argument whether or not the whole promotion of benefits of circumcision, even proposed prophylatic benefits, is actually just a conspiracy to make money from the sales of foreskin. Arguments have also been made that that the foreskin should only be taken from still-birth infants, but again the arguments of "mutilation" and conspiracy of profit arise. But with all the amazing technology and lives saved and bodies healed from the unique cells a single foreskin can create, there's got to be a good common ground somewhere.

What do you think about foreskins being used to create bio-skin technology?


Image via Apligraf

circumcision, skin


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ethan... ethans_momma06

Wow! i had no idea it was so versital! I obviously wouldn't reccomend someone to circumsize BECAUSE of this, but if they are anyway it's kinda.... cool to know it's not simply going to waste.

hotic... hoticedcoffee

This gave me the willies, even though I did know that removed foreskins were medically useful.  Science is amazing.

Servi... ServinGsus

I guess that if the skin can be used instead of just disposed, it's a good thing.  I do think people should be aware of what is in their products, but that is their responsibility ... just as it is the manufacturer's responsibility to be up front.  I have no problem with my son's foreskin being used to help a burn victim, or even to create cells for collagen.  I think it's awesome that medicine can be used this way.  

When I would get upset is if it became a business that ended up requiring me to circumcise my son, simply because it was convenient and profitable.  (let's not get me started on immediate cord clamping and stem cell harvesting!).  

Histo... HistoryMamaX3

I think it is wonderful the ways that people can be helped by this... I did know about it, as I researched it after discussing it with my doctor. ;-) The burn labs use it a great deal and in no way profit from it. If it is a choice that your family makes, it something to look into and something that can be considered a benefit.

wendy... wendy46121

I'm actually a little put off that parents have to PAY a doctor/hospital to circumcise their son, only for the doctor/hospital to turn around and sell the foreskin and make even more money!  


nonmember avatar Bonnie

Replace the word "foreskin" in this blog post with the word "vulva" and people would be furious. It's not okay to mutilate little boys even if we get some great wrinkle cream out of the deal.

wendy... wendy46121

Oh but about the actual use.  Trust me, people put a lot worse things in their body on a daily basis.  So a skin from a baby penis isn't quite so bothersome.  And even less bothersome is products made by using foreskin.  

nonmember avatar Equal

This is an outrage! If the skin is from a still born then go right ahead. If, however, the skin is amputated from a living infant who could not possibly consent. Than it is genital mutilation. How on earth are people ok with this?

Phils... PhilsBabyMama

It kind of gives me the willies (heh) when I think of it being used in skins creams, etc.  I can see where it'd be very helpful to burn victims, though.  I am staunchly opposed to circumcision.  I think it should be illegal, but right now it's not and people are going to keep doing it anyway, so the foreskin might as well be used to improve someone's life.

nonmember avatar albertaborn42

Having gone through this "mutilation" experience 68-years ago, I can assure everyone I have no conscious or subconscious recollection of any discomfort. I'm pleased and proud I could contribute to medical science in such a small way.

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