Phimosis is the medical term for the condition in which the foreskin does not get retracted on its own or even sometimes with the application of external pressure or force. It is quite common and often seen in newly born infants where the skin over the glans does not slide backward, or away over the glans or head portion of the penis due to its extreme tightness.
The condition known as phimosis, in which the foreskin is unable to be retracted, affects the vast majority of infants and toddlers who are not circumcised. This is due to the fact that the glans and the foreskin continue to be connected during the first few years of the child’s life. There are several potential triggers and causes of phimosis in adults, however, the condition is typically only an issue if it manifests with noticeable symptoms.
According to a reliable source, this happens when phimosis remains untreated and the child grows toward adulthood. It becomes extremely painful and may manifest into some other irritable syndrome or vital consequences. The fact remains that if the glans and the foreskin stay joined during an initial couple of years of a child’s life it might also result in foul odor and infections in adults.
In this article, we take a look at the potential causes of this condition, as well as the potential treatments for it in the event that symptoms manifest themselves.
Reasons and potential hazards
Phimosis could have been caused by a number of different things, such as infections or skin conditions. It is possible to arrive at a diagnosis by looking at the patient’s medical history. Phimosis is a disease that can only affect males who have not had their testicles circumcised, and it is more common in boys than in men.
Phimosis is common in infants and young children who have not yet undergone the circumcision procedure because the foreskin is still connected to the glans. Between the ages of 2 and 6, it will begin to detach on its own, though it is possible that it will happen at a later age. In some boys, the onset of the condition can occur as late as the age of around 10 years.
It is possible to pull the foreskin back behind the glans in approximately half of the boys who are 1 year old and in almost all of the boys who are 3 years old. Less than one percent of young teens between the ages of 16 and 18 will be affected by phimosis.
It is most probable in older boys who have the following characteristics:
- infection of the urinary tract more than once
- infection of the foreskin
Foreskin trauma can be caused by repeated rough handling of the foreskin. In adults, phimosis is more likely to occur if they have a history of sexually transmitted infections.
Phimosis can be brought on by a variety of skin conditions, including the following:
- Eczema is a skin condition that lasts for a long time and causes itching, redness, dryness, and cracking of the skin.
- Psoriasis is a skin condition that causes reddened, flaky, and crusty patches of skin in affected areas.
- A rash can appear in a variety of places on the body and is characterized by an itchy sensation. It does not spread to other people.
- This condition, known as lichen sclerosus, causes scarring on the foreskin, which can eventually lead to phimosis. It’s possible that irritation in the urinary tract is to blame.
Symptoms of phimosis
The inability to urinate or properly empty the bladder is a possible symptom of phimosis. This can also be referred to as urinary retention.
Phimosis does not necessarily result in symptoms in every case. However, when it does, you might experience symptoms such as redness, soreness, or swelling.
If your foreskin is particularly tight, it may obstruct the normal flow of urine. In extreme situations, this can hinder the individual from completely emptying their bladder.
Phimosis can result in inflammation of the penis, known as balanitis, or inflammation of the glans and the foreskin, known as balanoposthitis. Both of these conditions are referred to as balanoposthitis. Both of these conditions are frequently brought on by a lack of proper hygiene.
The following are some of the symptoms of balanitis:
A burning sensation, itching, an accumulation of thick fluid, and pain during urination are all symptoms of a urinary tract infection.
Phimosis can result in discomfort, skin trying to split, or a loss of sensation during sexual activity. When engaging in sexual activity, it’s a good idea to use lubricant and a condom at the same time.
Diagnosis of phimosis
A thorough history of the patient will be taken, and the individual will be questioned about any preceding penis infections or injuries they may have sustained. They might also inquire about the impact that any symptoms have on a person’s ability to have sexual relations. During the physical examination, they will examine both the man’s penis and his foreskin.
If the doctor suspects that the patient has an infection in the urinary tract, he or she may take a swab from the area around the patient’s foreskin to test for bacteria.
Phimosis is a contributor to the development of type 2 diabetes. As a direct consequence of this, adults who present themselves with a tight foreskin may indeed be subjected to blood and urine tests to determine their current blood sugar levels.
Associated diseases and symptoms
The condition known as paraphimosis occurs when a foreskin that has been retracted is unable to return to its normal position. This issue causes the glans to become sore and swollen, which can be very uncomfortable.
It is imperative that you seek immediate medical attention in order to forestall the onset of more severe pain and prevent the penis’ blood supply from becoming constricted.
While the glans are being pressed on and the foreskin is being propelled forward, a doctor may apply a gel that contains a local anesthetic. In order to alleviate the pressure, it may be necessary, in some instances, to cut a tiny slit in the foreskin. In more serious circumstances, circumcision might be advised.
It is possible for the tissue of the penis to perish if there is insufficient blood flow to the area, but this condition is extremely unusual and severe. If something like this occurs, the penis might have to be removed surgically.
Treatment of Phimosis
In most cases, proper hygiene is sufficient to treat balanitis; however, in more severe cases, steroid ointments or creams may be necessary.
The various alternative therapies for phimosis are determined, in part, by the symptoms that manifest. The majority of cases of balanitis are easily treatable by practicing proper hygiene and using topical creams and ointments.
To promote better hygiene, it is recommended that individuals wash their genitalia daily with tepid water and pat them dry with a soft towel. They should not use soap, bubble bath, or shampoo on their genital areas, and they should make sure to dry off under the foreskin after they have used the restroom.
Application of cream or ointment
In order to alleviate the irritation, your physician may suggest that you apply a steroid cream or ointment.
It is possible that balanoposthitis will require treatment with an antifungal cream or a round of antibiotics if the condition was brought on by a bacterial or fungal infection, respectively.
In severe or recurrent cases of balanitis or balanoposthitis, a doctor may suggest treating the phimosis itself rather than just the symptoms. Either surgery or steroid creams may be prescribed by the doctor in order to help soften the foreskin and make it simpler to retract. Steroid creams may also be an option.
The removal of all or part of the foreskin is known as circumcision, and it is sometimes recommended by medical professionals. However, the circumcision procedure is not without its dangers, including the possibility of bleeding and infection.
In some cases, it may also be necessary to undergo surgery in order to release the areas of the glans where the foreskin becomes adhered to the glans. This will keep the foreskin intact, but it will not necessarily prevent phimosis from happening again in the future.
Maintaining clean living conditions is essential to warding off the symptoms of phimosis.
Every day, you should use warm water to carefully cleanse the penis and the area under the foreskin. This will help prevent problems. Maintaining a loose skin tone and protecting against infection will both be facilitated by this.
Taking care of a penis that has not been circumcised
It is recommended that men who have not yet had their penises circumcised pull back the foreskin and rinse the area underneath it with warm water.
It is possible to lessen the likelihood of experiencing irritation by switching to a mild or unscented soap and avoiding applying talc or deodorant to the affected area.
The majority of uncircumcised infant boys are born with a foreskin that is still attached to the penis and therefore cannot be pulled back. Between the ages of 2 and 6, it will begin to detach on its own, although it is possible that it could take even longer.
Because it could be painful and could cause permanent damage to the foreskin, it is important for parents not to try to force the foreskin back into place before it is ready.
Comparison between Phimosis and Paraphimosis
When the foreskin retracts and then cannot be repositioned, a disease known as paraphimosis develops. It’s possible that this needs immediate medical attention. Paraphimosis can cause a decrease in blood circulation to the penis’s distal end.
Treatment for paraphimosis is equivalent to that for phimosis. Perhaps sliding the foreskin back up could be aided by lubricating the glans and the foreskin. You should see your doctor before attempting this self-care method. Safe ointments and lotions might be recommended by your doctor. You should see a doctor right away if the paraphimosis lasts more than a few hours, changes color, or causes pain.
Foreskin retraction is something that can be avoided with circumcision or partial circumcision. Please consult your doctor about the potential outcomes and side effects of this treatment. Uncircumcised men are at increased risk for contracting HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.
Phimosis is not a condition that is immediately life-threatening, despite the discomfort that the symptoms of the condition may cause. Phimosis is an easily treatable condition that does not leave any long-lasting effects.
Although additional research is required in this field, there is some evidence that suggests that having a tight foreskin may encourage the development of tumors in the penis.
Disclaimer: This information is for educational purposes only, and no medical advice should be inferred from it. Before changing your diet or adding supplements, please talk to your doctor.
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