The glans penis (or just glans) is the sensitive tip of the penis. It is also called the "head" of the penis. Slang names include "helmet" and "bell end". When the penis is not circumcised or erect, it is covered by the foreskin.
The opening of the urethra is at the tip of the glans. In children who have been circumcised and wear diapers, the opening of the penis has no protection. This can cause the urethra to get very narrow which can need surgery to reopen later.
The epithelium of the glans penis is moist and washing it too much can dry the mucous membrane that covers the glans penis and cause dermatitis.
↑Freud, Paul (August 1947). [/library/complications/freud1/ "The ulcerated urethral meatus in male children"]. The Journal of Pediatrics31 (2): 131–41. doi:10.1016/S0022-3476(47)80098-8. /library/complications/freud1/. Retrieved 2006-07-07.
↑Birley, H. D.; M .M. Walker, G. A. Luzzi, R. Bell, D. Taylor-Robinson, M. Byrne & A. M. Renton (October 1993). [/library/disease/balanitis/birley/ "Clinical features and management of recurrent balanitis; association with atopy and genital washing"]. Genitourinary Medicine69 (5): 400–3. PMID8244363. /library/disease/balanitis/birley/.
↑Szabo, Robert; Roger V. Short (June 2000). [/cgi/content/full/320/7249/1592 "How does male circumcision protect against HIV infection?"]. British Medical Journal320 (7249): 1592–4. doi:10.1136/bmj.320.7249.1592 . PMID10845974. /cgi/content/full/320/7249/1592. Retrieved 2006-07-07.