Phimosis

Phimosis

Last Updated November 2nd, 2022

You may consult a urologist. If you have a child who needs treatment, you may consult your pediatrician.
No. Circumcision does not cause infertility. After the operation, during the first few months, you may have difficulty in erection.
Yes, poor hygiene or infection can lead to phimosis.

What is Phimosis?

Phimosis is a medical condition wherein the foreskin of the penis is too tight and cannot be pulled back over the glans. This causes discomfort and pain to the patient besides creating conditions for infection of the urinary tract due to poor hygiene practices.

It is a commonly occurring condition in uncircumcised male babies. Occasionally skin ailments that result in scarring may also cause Phimosis. Such a possibility is high in older children.

This may cause slight pain while passing urine as the head is covered and the urethra is not exposed. Forcefully pulling back the foreskin before it is detached is not recommended because it is not only painful but would also result in damage to the foreskin.

Awareness of the available options for patients with Phimosis, particularly in young children, is the need of the hour. Both parents and doctors need to be informed about the available options as well as the advantages of these new techniques.

Phimosis rarely causes complications or serious health issues. The health problems are limited to painful and difficult urination or soreness and swelling of the glans. Over the last two decades, medics are treating cases of phimosis with topical steroids, since the results of this non-surgical approach are highly positive.

What is the Medical Definition of Phimosis?

Medically Phimosis is defined as being unable to retract the prepuce or foreskin that covers the penis head or glans.

What Causes Phimosis?

It may be a natural occurrence at birth or caused by skin ailments like Eczema, Lichen planus, Psoriasis, and Lichen sclerosus. Phimosis may be the result of a sexually transmitted infection or be the outcome of infections by fungi or bacteria.

Older Boys may get affected by Phimosis if they have repeated UTIs, Foreskin Trauma, infection of the foreskin, or handling the foreskin roughly every time.

What are the Symptoms of Phimosis?

Phimosis symptomsSore and inflamed glans can also lead to Balanitis in children. In some cases, thick discharge is seen beneath the foreskin. Such a condition when both the foreskin and the glans are having an inflammation is referred to as Balanoposthitis.

What are the Types of Phimosis?

There are two types of Phimosis- pathologic and psychologic. Phimosis seen in uncircumcised male infants is called Psychologic Phimosis. If the condition is caused by inflammation, scarring, or infection it is called Pathologic Phimosis.

What are the Complications that Patients with Phimosis need to be aware of?

Do not use a cotton swab or Q-tip to clean the areas between the glands and the foreskin as it might cause damage to the sensitive skin in the area.

Inability to pass urine, and constant pains during urination are usually sufficient causes to recommend surgery.

Circumcision though recommended as a last resort may lead to post-operative infection and bleeding if adequate precautions are not taken.

Non-surgical Adhesiolysis, wherein the foreskin is separated from the places it is attached to the glans without actually removing it is a new age approach that is being recommended of late. This approach is seen to be safe, effective, and reasonably priced when compared to surgery.

The latest medical and surgical treatments are safer, highly effective, and conservative. These non-invasive options are seen to give better results with negligible side effects.

How is this Condition Diagnosed?

Clinical Diagnosis is sufficient to diagnose this condition and there is no need for the patients to undergo any imaging studies or laboratory tests. Phimosis is easily diagnosed as it presents itself at the tip of the penis and prevents full retraction. The foreskin appears like a rubber band similar to a tight ring around the tip of the penis.

It is important to check the cause of Phimosis, and identify if it is pathologic or psychologic. Severe Phimosis tends to prevent patients from completely clearing their bladder and some amount of residual urine tends to remain behind. The patient thus feels like urinating and makes frequent trips to the washroom.

The cases of Phimosis observed in uncircumcised babies are not pathologic and do not need aggressive treatment. However, parents tend to be apprehensive and they need to be reassured that such cases are normal and quite common in young males till they reach the age of 2-6 years when it gets rectified naturally.

What is the Recommended Line of Treatment for Phimosis?

Phimosis treatmentStudies done with data available with the NIH show that 0.6 percent of boys are affected by cases of pathological phimosis by the time they are 15 years. This means 2 in every 5000 boys are affected in this age category.

The recommended line of treatment for physiological phimosis is more conservative, while surgery is recommended in cases of pathological phimosis.

Circumcision is carried out under local anaesthesia and the patient may have slight pain for the first 2 days due to the bruises and swelling of the penis. In young children, the surgeons prefer using general anaesthesia. Circumcision is not extremely painful and is usually relieved by pain killers like ibuprofen that are easily available and can be purchased without prescriptions at any pharmacy.

The line of treatment would vary from case to case and depends on the severity of the situation as well as the patient’s age and resilience. In most cases doctors adopt the wait and watch policy, to see if the condition will be rectified naturally.

Data available with the NIH shows that moisturising is not effective in treating this condition and thus not recommended at all.

It is recommended that the penis should be gently retracted and the area under the foreskin must be cleaned regularly. In children, this should be done with each diaper change. As he grows older, the child must be taught to do this on his own as part of his personal hygiene.

Occasionally, steroid creams are prescribed to help in the reduction of pain by artificially stretching the foreskin. This is the most commonly recommended and used line of treatment. It is expected that with regular stretching of the foreskin, the condition will get corrected without surgical intervention.

Although there have not been any identifiable side effects when using the ointment, the treatment procedure may need to be repeated at regular intervals. Doctors recommend surgery only in cases of failure to get expected results subsequent to the use of steroid-based ointments for local application.

Especially in those rare cases wherein the patient experiences severe pain, or if the condition has been diagnosed as Pathological Phimosis thereby necessitating surgical intervention. It is also recommended if the patient has recently suffered from a recurring UTI (Urinary Tract Infection) or suffers from repeated or severe instances of Balanoposthitis.

Immediate surgical treatment is recommended if the difficulty in passing urine is too acute. Circumcision is recommended if the patient’s condition is severe and he continues to suffer from constant pain due to Balanoposthitis or Balanitis.

Circumcision is carried out under local anaesthesia and the patient may have slight pain for the first 2 days due to the bruises and swelling of the penis. In young children, the surgeons prefer using general anaesthesia. Circumcision is not extremely painful and is usually relieved by pain killers like ibuprofen that are easily available and can be purchased without prescriptions at any pharmacy.

Alternatively, some patients prefer to only surgically detach a part of the foreskin that is attached to the glans, while leaving the rest as it is. Though less painful, there is no assurance that the problem would not re-occur at a later date.

In all other cases, the root cause is identified and treated. For instance, if the patient is suffering from Balanoposthitis, ensuring correct hygienic practices like maintaining personal hygiene suffices.

This includes washing the penis at regular intervals using clean water and mild soap followed by the use of moisturiser to keep the skin hydrated. On the other hand, if the patient is suffering from Balanitis, then the line of treatment includes the use of ointments and creams while making sure that the penis does not come into contact with irritants and good personal hygiene.

What are the Precautions to be Taken When Caring for Patients with Phimosis?

PhimosisMaintain personal hygiene, by daily washing the genitals in warm water while bathing. Ensure that the area beneath the foreskin is cleaned thoroughly in case of adults or older children. Avoid the use of irritants like harsh soaps in the area. Avoid deodorants and talcum powders as they may irritate the skin in the area.

The foreskin must not be forcibly pulled back especially for young children. It is also recommended to apply a local analgesic to reduce the infection and irritation on the glans and the foreskin if diagnosed with Phimosis.

It is essential that parents and caregivers are made aware of the commonality of Phimosis in the various age categories. It is also important that they are taught and guided in ensuring proper hygiene and care of patients affected by Phimosis so that they keep the foreskin and its surrounding areas, including the under-surface areas clean and hydrated at all times.

 

Facts

Most of the male babies are born with natural Phimosis. This helps protect the urethra and the glans from infection caused by germs.

Facts

Phimosis rarely causes complications or serious health issues. The health problems are limited to painful and difficult urination or soreness and swelling of the glans. Over the last two decades, medics are treating cases of phimosis with topical steroids, since the results of this non-surgical approach are highly positive.

Facts

The cases of Phimosis observed in uncircumcised babies are not pathologic and do not need aggressive treatment. However, parents tend to be apprehensive and they need constant reassurance that such cases are normal and quite common in young males till they reach the age of 2-6 years when it gets rectified naturally.

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You may consult a urologist. If you have a child who needs treatment, you may consult your pediatrician.
No. Circumcision does not cause infertility. After the operation, during the first few months, you may have difficulty in erection.
Yes, poor hygiene or infection can lead to phimosis.

 

Dos and Don'ts

Dos
  • It is essential that parents and caregivers are made aware of the commonality of Phimosis in the various age categories.
  • It is also important that they are taught and guided in ensuring proper hygiene and care of patients affected by Phimosis so that they keep the foreskin and its surrounding areas, including the under-surface areas clean and hydrated at all times.
  • Extra care should be taken so that post-surgical bleeding does not occur.
Don'ts
  • Use force to retract the foreskin as it can traumatise the child besides causing him extreme pain and damaging the foreskin.
  • Use a cotton swab or Q-tip to clean the areas between the glands and the foreskin as it might cause damage to the sensitive skin in the area.
  • Wait too long to seek medical help.

 

 

 

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Horny Goat Weed: Can it improve libido in human beings too? This plant got its name as Horny Goat Weed when one of the goats feeding on the plant…
GM Diet: The fastest way to lose weight or yet another hoax diet? General Motors started this trend of extreme dieting for 7 straight days to ensure its employees were able…
Love tea, hate tannins? Rooibos tea is just what you need The market is brimming with a multitude of herbal teas. But what makes rooibos tea (or red bush)…
Erythritol: A healthy sugar substitute or yet another marketing ploy? Erythritol is a popular choice of a healthy alternative sweetening agent in foods. But how healthy can a…
Carb Cycling: Weighing the pros vs the cons of this diet routine Completely discarding carbs from your life will do you more harm than good. Read more about carb cycling,…
Balneotherapy jacuzzi
5 things you didn’t know about balneotherapy and how you can do it at home Sauna baths have been popular since a long time. But how much more beneficial can balneotherapy be as…
Anti-CCP Test – Anti-Cyclic Citrullinated Peptide Anti-ccp or ACCP test is a blood test that is primarily employed to diagnose the onset of rheumatoid…
cardioliin antibody iga
Cardiolipin Antibody (ACL) – IgA test Cardiolipins are phospholipids that are constituents of the platelets and the cell membranes. The IgA test detects the…
complement c4 test
Anemia Profile Anemia Profile test (Basic) is a blood screening test that measures the levels of important components of the…
shiitake mushrooms healthy
What are Shiitake Mushrooms and why should you eat them? Shiitake Mushrooms are well known for their smoky and robust taste. However, did you know they are replete…
pilonidal sinus
Pilonidal sinus Pilonidal sinus is more common in young men than women. Learn about treatment options, surgical management, risks, and…
improve digestion weight loss
Power up your gut: 8 proven steps on how to improve your digestion Did you know you have a colony of bacteria in your gut that help you in digesting food?…
low fodmap plan
Troubled with IBS? Here’s a complete roadmap to the low FODMAP diet Leaky & inflammatory gut troubling you? No medicine bringing you relief from the pain? Why not try the…
Kava: Is it the healthy substitute for alcohol you have been waiting for? Native to the beautiful South Pacific islands, Kava is a famous beverage rooted in the local culture. It…
Psyllium Husk: More than just an effective natural laxative Psyllium husk, or isabgol, is a popular natural laxative . But did you in addition to regulating bowels,…
Find all the instant ways to get rid of blackheads Blackheads - Not only are they aesthetically unappealing but if left untreated these can cause bacterial overgrowth on…
Ear pain model
Easy and safe tips for ear wax removal you can do at home Cerumen impaction generally occurs when an external object like cotton swabs are used to remove the ear wax.…
Atkins diet weight loss
Atkins Diet: The right steps to carb control that can help you lose those pounds fast The Atkins diet is a high fat, low-carb diet with proven weight loss benefits that is flexible enough…
Chest X-Ray A chest x-ray is a diagnostic test that uses x-rays to visualize the structures inside your chest. It…
blood elements analysis
Blood Element Analysis Test A blood element analysis is a blood test performed to measure the level of toxic elements such as…
PROGESTERONE_test
Progesterone test The progesterone test is a blood test used to determine the level of hormone progesterone in the blood…
iron deficiency profile
Iron Deficiency Profile An iron deficiency profile is a battery of blood tests which are performed in order to determine the…
Okra: How can this nutrient-dense vegetable help you fight diabetes? Okra is a food which is rich in nutrients and minerals which are extremely essential for a healthy…
dance health benefits
5 unbelievable effects of dance on your overall health! You enjoy dancing, but did you know what else it does to your body? Dancing is not only…
Jack in the box fast food
Jack In the Box : The perils of surging fast food culture in the USA Jack in the Box - How a culture of fast-food can clog your arteries, weaken your heart, fatten…
black seed oil benefits
Black Seed Oil: What secret benefits could it bestow on your health? Black seeds or nigella seeds are tiny packets of health brimming with amazing benefits. Find out why should…
Oil of Oregano: The one-stop essential oil you’ve been looking for Are you plagued by a weak immune system? High body inflammation accompanied by pain and infections? Why not…
Epley maneuver: Why is this the best protection from the symptoms of vertigo? Epley maneuver is an exercise that can treat the symptoms of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV).  It was…
Tart Cherry: The healthiest excuse for taking that second serving of pie Tart cherry has been traditionally used in delectable desserts such as pies. Recent studies have revealed that its…
Hydroquinone: Is it the best topical treatment for hyperpigmentation? Darkening of the skin due to high melanin levels is called hyperpigmentation.  Hydroquinone interferes with melanin production thus treating…
Inversion Therapy: The anti-gravity way of healing chronic back pain Inversion therapy involves suspending a person upside dow using different types of equipment. This works by taking the…
The Cabbage Soup Diet: The healthiest way to instant weight loss Cabbage soup diet rapid weight loss diet for those who want to shed those extra pounds in less…
Coffee Enema: Turn your favorite morning beverage into a powerful colon cleanser The wonders of coffee are not just limited to waking you up every morning. You can now use…
CBC blood test
CBC (Hemogram 6-part diff) blood test CBC (Hemogram 6-part diff) blood test refers to the test that measures the number of RBCs, WBCs, etc…
reflexology massage
Top reasons why you should go for a reflexology massage today Reflexology involves the application of pressure to your feet and hands to encourage self-healing. Could this be beneficial…
Bone marrow aspiration Bone marrow aspiration is a process where a sample of the bone marrow is withdrawn from the bone…
C-Reactive Protein Test A CRP or c-reactive protein blood test is an important diagnostic tool used to determine the risk of…
HSV-1_IGG
Herpes Simplex Virus I (HSV)-IgG Test Herpes simplex virus I(HSV)-IgG is an Immunoglobulin protein that acts as an antibody & stays in the blood…
malarial antigen test
Malaria Antigen Test A malaria antigen test is a rapid diagnostic test (RDT) that can detect malarial antigens (proteins) in your…
lipase test
Lipase Test A lipase test is a blood test performed to quantitatively measure the level of the enzyme lipase in…
Squid-ink-spaghetti
Squid Ink: A unique food coloring and flavoring agent Want to add a unique black color to your pasta, noodles and ice-creams? How can you use squid…
Squid-ink-spaghetti
Squid Ink: A unique food coloring and flavoring agent Want to add a unique black color to your pasta, noodles and ice-creams? How can you use squid…
Squid-ink-spaghetti
Squid Ink: A unique food coloring and flavoring agent Want to add a unique black color to your pasta, noodles and ice-creams? How can you use squid…
Sushi: health benefits and recipes Sushi is a traditional Japanese dish prepared with vinegared rice served with fish (often raw), vegetables, and other…
hidden benefits walking
9 benefits of walking we bet you didn’t know! Did you know walking can be the miracle pill for eternal youth? Everyone knows walking is good for…