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


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

nonmember avatar George

This is disgusting. Women who enable male genital mutilation, euphemistically know as "circumcision", are hypocrites. Men who enable it are in denial, and self-haters. But what can one expect from a society that teaches boys to hate themselves, and treats us as objects. This is bad Karma, and the people involved deserve every bad thing they got coming to them. I hope their wrinkled soulless faces cave in on their empty burned out minds.

nonmember avatar happy mom

wow, who let the crazy people out, seriously everyone should be circumcised at birth. First uncut penises look pretty ugly, second they get infected and third it makes it easier for you to get STDs. I feel pretty sad for the guys who have to go through this years later in life because their parents were ignorant enough to think they should skip circumcisions. They probably believed vaccines are the cause of autism too.

nonmember avatar DBM

I'm with Happy Mom on this. Uncircumcised males are more susceptible to STDs and other infections. You can't really compare this to "female circumcision," the entire purpose of which is to inhibit pleasure. It's like comparing losing the tip of your pinky to losing an entire hand. And if losing the tip of his pinky would virtually guarantee that my (hypothetical) son would never get an infection that'd cost him his whole hand, I'd be all for cutting off that one tiny bone.

And I'm fine with using severed foreskins in any way they can be used medically. It's not like someone died for it, as is the case with embryonic stem cells.

nonmember avatar j

No matter whether one is for or against male circumcision, make sure you have your facts straight. The whole increased risk of STD debate is more often than not based on statistics that don't take other just as vital factors into consideration such as how often the subjects practice safe sex and their levels of personal hygiene. If you practice safe sex and are taught to clean yourself properly (under the foreskin always) then I think you'll find the differences aren't as striking as they may be presented by some doctors, who are also often advocates of circumcision. Although, I'm personally strongly opposed to any form of circumcision I don't feel the right to judge anyone else for what they choose for their children if they are trying to do what they feel is best for his well-being.

nonmember avatar j

I do find though find the whole comment that an uncircumcised penis is "ugly"a bit odd...It's a penis and that's what they look like. It is really too bad that some uncircumcised men grow up feeling that they look strange simply because they are walking around as nature intended. I don't think the problem here is with the "different" penis. I think we need to reassess very carefully the reasons why we choose to carry out this procedure. Some men do need to be cut for health reasons if the skin is too tight and affecting circulation or intercourse etc. but if a parent chooses this procedure for purely cosmetic reasons then let's call a spade a spade and know that it is "cosmetic surgery" that is being carried out. I live in a part of the world where circumcsion is considered a very old-fashioned and barbaric practice. That being said, I feel that many American parents choose to circumcise because they feel it is best for their child based on the information they have from their doctors, families etc. And a parent who is trying to do "the right thing" shouldn't be bashed but rather a culture/system that misinforms parents and perpetuates what I consider strange ideals about what a male/female body "should" look like. That's what needs to be put under the microscope.

nonmember avatar Rob O.

I realize that the focus of this article isn't really about whether circumcision is right or wrong, good or bad, but...
Circumcision is completely unnecessary except in rare cases. The vast majority of parents blindly go along with doctors' recommendations, which are based more upon sheer ignorant tradition than anything else.
And I'll admit that there is a certain little "Oliver Stone-esqe" part lodged deep in my primitive monkey brain that wonders if there might just be some conspiracy at work here. Much the same way that big pharma encourages behaviors (in both doctors and patients) that only help to sustain and create their patientbase, it would seem that hospitals have lots to gain by encouraging people to hold onto their outdated and unjustifiable bias towards circumcision.
Another part of my primitive monkey brain wonders this:
If you're a Christian, how can you simultaneously be in awe of God's creations yet also arrogantly question the value of something that He designed? How do you reconcile your faith in God's wisdom with a total lack of regard for part of something he so carefully, intently constructed? Who are we to casually assume that the foreskin is worthless and should therefore be butchered off? Should we then turn our knives to other portions of babies’ anatomy for which we have insufficient understanding?

Memigen Memigen

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



And they used a little willie to give you the willies! lol

nonmember avatar AJ

"It's not okay to mutilate little boys even if we get some great wrinkle cream out of the deal."

I'm quite happy with my trimmed beautiful penis. Don't assume that we wouldn't have made the choice ourselves given the option. In fact as an adult, when looking at cut vs uncut, I would be making my way to the doctor if it wasn't performed when I was an infant.

Why do people always look for causes when there isn't really one there?



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!  ....I AGREE WITH THIS WOMAN! WELL ILL BE MAKING SURE IF I HAVE A BOY ILL BE WRITING ON THAT PAPER IM SIGNING NOT FOR SALE



Holly. Holly.

Interesting. I am not pro-circumcision, though my son was circumcised (my mother, who was my power of attorney, signed the consent form on my "behalf" while I was unconscious after my c-section, though I told her I didn't want it done). Anyway, it is interesting to know that though I don't agree with the practice, at least foreskins aren't being simply thrown away as medical waste but are actually being used.

31-40 of 98 comments First 23456 Last