Phimosis in men is a condition where the foreskin cannot be retracted fully from the penis head. Non-retractability is commonly seen in male newborns, and is usually considered normal. The condition is mostly applied to males who are already past their developmental stage but are still experiencing non-retractability of their foreskin. Phimosis may also be seen in men with previously retractable foreskin and experienced inability to do so. This is frequently due to scarring that develops in the foreskin after an infection in the area.
When people talk about their options on how to treat phimosis, circumcision is usually brought up. This is often the most common treatment for the condition, but there are still other methods which can be done without involving surgery.
The most simple way to treat phimosis is through manual stretching of the skin. Simply stretching the skin continuously should loosen it up. Stretching of the skin should be done carefully and slowly to avoid breakage or blockage of blood flow. It is recommended that these stretching exercises be done under the careful guidance of a medical professional. It may be a simple method but it can cause serious medical problems if not done correctly and carefully.
Application of topical steroids on the foreskin may also be done to treat phimosis. If after three months of steroid application, and no relief is observed, physicians usually discontinue this kind of treatment as it is not effective. Other management may then be considered such as preputial and circumcision.
This is a surgical procedure but it is less severe than a circumcision procedure. Preputial plasty is done by making a cut in the foreskin to widen its preputial ring, giving it the ability to slide over the head of the penis. It is similar to circumcision in some ways, but it only requires a small cut and a lot of stretching for it to be effective. However, like circumcision, this procedure is often considered as a last resort when other methods have been proven ineffective.
Circumcision is a surgical procedure which involves cutting or removing some skin that covers the penis. This type of treatment is often irreversible and may be traumatic to a child. It usually takes a few minutes to be performed, but it can take several weeks to heal. Circumcision is also often considered as a last treatment resort when all other medical intervention failed.
Phimosis seen in male children usually resolves as they reach puberty. And when phimosis is seen in younger children, it is often advised to leave it alone or to bring the child to the physician. Trying to manually retract the foreskin may cause tears on the skin and bring about scarring thus leading to phimosis. One cause of phimosis is frequent infection of the foreskin. And the simplest way on how to prevent phimosis is to prevent infection by practicing good hygiene daily.
norm-uk.org: Clinical Guidelines for Phimosis
emedicine: Phimosis and Paraphimosis