Usually, tight foreskin medically termed as phimosis is such a condition wherein skin of an uncircumcised penis is unable to be retracted or cannot be pulled back from the glans of the penis. All male children have contracted foreskin at the time of birth with only small part uncovered allowing the infant to urinate. It gradually loosens, as the child grows from adolescent to adult and is pulled back completely. It is completely fine if the child’s age is 10 and has contracted skin. However, you consider it as phimosis if your child reaches puberty. It is rare that phimosis is not resolved but it is not a serious health issue.
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Causes of tight foreskin
One may experience phimosis because of different reasons. Sometimes age determines the cause of phimosis. In some young child, a tight foreskin is by birth termed as congenital and is categorized to be physiologic phimosis. This issue usually gets resolved by the time the child reaches the age 7.
However, the other cause is pathologic phimosis which occurs due to infection, Balanitis- skin irritation, Balanoposthitis, STI’s.
Sometimes, soon after birth, the child is circumcised, so phimosis isn’t possible.
Phimosis may also be caused due to other skin conditions as under:
- Lichen planus - non-contagious skin disease causing bumps on the penis.
- Lichen sclerosis - causing white patches on the foreskin or on the glans. This disease also causes scars on the foreskin.
- Eczema – Dry patches on the foreskin due to certain soaps, or due to poor hygiene.
- Psoriasis – Dry and crusty patches on the foreskin due to abnormal skin cell production.
The above skin conditions can be cured with certain ointments and steroids with the medical assistance and doctor’s consultant
Signs and symptoms you can see in the male child with phimosis are as under:
- Difficulty in urine discharge
- Pain after and while urination
- Blood while urination
- Pain in the penis
However, in adults you can note the following symptoms:
- Infections: Tight foreskin leads to Balanitis and due to lack of hygiene; you can face the issue of soreness, redness, inflammation of the penis head.
- Erection: There is negative effect during sexual intercourse because of tight and contracted foreskin. It becomes a very painful act because of phimosis wherein the pullback during erection becomes impossible leading to negative impact on sex life.
- Urination: In some adults, the foreskin is so tight that proper urination doesn’t happen affecting seriously on penis hygiene.
- Paraphimosis: This is considered as a very serious and emergency condition wherein the foreskin is not able to attain the original position. This happens when an erection occurs with a contracted foreskin wherein is pulled back. This has to be treated with medical assistance as blood flow to the penis head stops causing the glans swollen and painful.
- You realize that there is no sensation while having sex because of Phimosis which results in pain and skin splitting. Lubricants and use of condoms during intercourse make you more comfortable and less painful.
Home care for foreskin treatment
At present, there is no such home therapy for phimosis treatment except maintaining good hygiene. Care should be taken to keep the area of groin dry and clean.
Similarly, paraphimosis treatment involves applying ice for reducing swelling and after a while, by applying pressure you can try to pull forward the foreskin. If the problem doesn’t get resolved by this method then it is recommended to consult a doctor immediately as the blood circulation gets restricted.
How to treat Tight Foreskin problem
Phimosis treatment depends on the seriousness and cause. However, in many cases, it disappears with the passage of time without any treatment.
Exercise: Exercising is one of the natural treatments for Phimosis. One suffering from phimosis has to gently pull back and move the foreskin from very young age while cleaning the penis. It is recommended to take care while pulling back the foreskin and consulting the doctor during the process is more advisable at timely intervals. Do not forcefully retract the foreskin.
OTC medicines: Many ointments and creams are available which can be applied to many skin conditions which are the main causes of phimosis. You can also opt for steroids with doctor’s consultancy. Massaging the cream and retracting the foreskin can help you to relieve from phimosis. Pain relievers can also be used and are helpful for many skin conditions.
Prescribed medicines: If phimosis is persisting for a long duration, it is advisable to take the medications as per the doctor’s advice.
Surgery: When Phimosis is not treated with the medication, then doctors opt for a surgery. However, there are three types of surgery for Phimosis:
- Circumcision: This is a surgical treatment wherein part of the foreskin is removed. This treatment is usually done at the time of infancy. However, it can be treated at any age. This surgery is carried on at a serious stage. The person who underwent Circumcision should make a habit of cleaning the penis regularly with mild soap and wash with warm water.
- Preputioplasty: This surgery is carried on by cutting and stretching of the foreskin and is a less-comprehensive procedure.
- Frenuloplasty: In this procedure, underside foreskin of the penis is removed surgically wherein the foreskin is loosening for easy retraction.
In the above treatments, there are chances of bleeding and slight infection.
How to maintain the hygiene
It is recommended and important to maintain hygiene of your penis on regular basis to avoid problems.
- Wash your penis regularly with warm water during bath and it is advisable to follow this process twice a day
- Try to pull back your foreskin and also wash underneath. It is recommended not to pull the foreskin of a young child because it may cause pain and may lead to more harmful.
- You can use soaps with mild chemicals for a wash if you are facing a skin irritation.
- Do not use talcum powder or any kind of deodorants as they may prove to be very strong on your penis causing burns and irritation.