Phimosis is a condition in which the foreskin of the penis cannot stretch to allow it to be pulled back past the glans. In young children, it is normal not to be able to pull back the foreskin at all. Typically, it resolves without treatment by the age of three. At birth, the inner layer of the foreskin is sealed to the glans penis. The foreskin is usually non-retractable in early childhood, and some males may reach the age of 18 before their foreskin can be fully retracted. Medical associations advise not to retract the foreskin of an infant, in order to prevent scarring.
Phimosis describes a condition in which the foreskin is too tight to be pulled back over the head or glans of the penis. Most uncircumcised babies and toddlers will have phimosis, meaning the foreskin cannot be retracted. This is because the glans and the foreskin remain connected for the first few years of life. In adults, there are a number of risk factors and causes of phimosis, though it only tends to be a problem if it causes symptoms. In this article, we take a look at the causes of this condition, along with what can be used to treat it when symptoms occur.
Phimosis is a common and relatively normal condition in babies and young children until around 7 years old. But if phimosis results in swelling , redness , irritation, or trouble peeing from the foreskin squeezing the head of the penis, you may need treatment for the underlying cause. Before you try stretching your foreskin, keep the following in mind:.
Q I am 29 years of age and have a very tight foreskin which I find very difficult to retract. It can be painful during sexual intercourse. I went to see my doctor and he diagnosed it as phimosis and suggested that I might benefit from a circumcision. What is a phimosis?