๐Ÿ’– Phimosis: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Home Remedies

Phimosis: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment and Home Remedies

1. What is Phimosis (Tight Foreskin)?

Phimosis is a condition in which the foreskin of the penis cannot be drawn back over the tip/glans of the penis. This is caused usually because the foreskinโ€™s ring is too tight and cannot be drawn back, or on rare occasions because the foreskin was retracted (not smoothly), before it was ready.

During early childhood it is common and natural for the foreskin not to retract. It should not be attempted at least before the boy reaches the age of 3. It is argued that 1% of male population is unable to fully expose the glans till the age of 17 (end of puberty). In some cases men in older ages than 18, might see their foreskin gradually tightening. This might be phimosis in earlier stages and can be treated with Glansie.


Phimosis can have an impact on a manโ€™s hygiene, since it makes it really hard to clean the penis. It might cause swelling of the penis during urination and is responsible for some infections, urine retention and bacteria. Some studies show that it can even escalate to carcinoma of the penis.

It can also have emotional impact on manโ€™s everyday life, since he might have difficulties with his sexual life and less pleasure during intercourse, since some neurons are only mildly triggered. His interactions with women might be different, since there might be some implications or pain, if they end up having intercourse. Most men are shy to talk about it or see a doctor and thatโ€™s why most adult males learn that they have phimosis during the army.

The usual treatment is circumcision. During this operation, doctors proceed to do a minor surgery and remove a part of the foreskin (the size of the removed skin depends on how tight the foreskinโ€™s ring is).

1.1. Penis structure:

In order to put this into context lets explore the structure of the penis. The head or helmet of the penis is known as the glans. The foreskin is called the prepuce. The foreskin is attached under the urethral meatus (pee hole to you and me) by a y-shaped piece of skin called the fraenulum or frenulum which is similar to the piece of skin that attaches your tongue to the bottom of your mouth. The fraenulum acts like an elastic band during sexual intercourse and helps to pull the foreskin back over the glans of the penis on contraction.

In certain cases the fraenulum can be too short, a condition known as fraenulum breve, which again stops the foreskin from fully retracting during intercourse.

So in summary there are three main potential foreskin issues:

  • Classical Phimosis: The foreskin is too tight and cannot easily be retracted over the head of your penis.
  • Paraphimosis: where a tight foreskin may retract but this results in it getting stuck below the head of the penis.
  • Fraenulum breve: where the fraenulum is too short to support full retraction of the foreskin.

All three issues can cause discomfort, difficulty during urination and potential infection to the glans of the penis however they can be treated and often without any surgical intervention using simple home treatments such as stretching.

While some men do manage to live with condition of Phimosis it should be noted that:

  • It is more difficult to clean the penis and you can emit bad oders produced from a bodily substance called smegma which collects under the foreskin, smegma is also susceptible to infection.
  • Having sexual intercourse with a foreskin that does not retract reduces the pleasure and sensations experienced.
  • Sex without a condom can be quite painful as the foreskin is forced back during intercourse.

So it really makes sense to try and treat the problem. Whats more many men go through life suffering from Phimosis without realising it, they assume the discomfort they experience is โ€˜normalโ€™ which can have negative consequences for their sex life and general health. Hopefully this article has been useful to you in identifying and explaining the issue.

1.2. Phimosis in child:

All male babies are born with it so this is normal. Foreskin of penis or prepuce has small opening and foreskin is attached to glans. Slight retraction of prepuce starts with the age of 4 to 7 years, but complete retraction of prepuce is only acquired after puberty in between the age of 13 to 16 years.

1.3. Phimosis in adults:

Following puberty the majority of males who are uncircumcised can fully retract their foreskin from the head of their penis both when flaccid and erect.

However it is not uncommon for men to be unable to achieve full retraction well into adulthood. Phimosis is a condition in which the male foreskin is overly tight which means that it cannot be easily retracted from the head of the penis. Phimosis has the potential to cause infection or considerable pain during sexual intercourse. In cases where a tight foreskin does fully retract during sexual intercourse it may get trapped below the head of the penis causing it to swell, this is known as Paraphimosis.

Only after the age 16, it is considered as Phimosis in adults. It has two types:

  1. Congenital or physiological Phimosis- As mentioned above, in all males the complete retraction of prepuce is acquired in the age of 13 to 16 years, but some male do not acquire retraction of prepuce after that age. It is classified as congenital.
  2. Pathological Phimosis- It is due to injury or infection.

Most of the time, it is not possible to differentiate between the two.

2. Symptoms of Phimosis:

  • Unable of retraction of prepuce: The most common and important symptom.
  • Ballooning of prepuce while urination: In complete Phimosis, prepuce opening swells and shows the appearance of the balloon while urination.
  • Pain in urination
  • Blood in urine
  • Frequent urine infection and balanitis (infection of penis head or glans)
  • Pain or inability of sex: This is because of forceful retraction of penis
  • White ring: Opening of prepuce shows some white spot, these spots are fibrosis of the previous scar.

3. Reasons of Phimosis:

There are mainly three reasons which are as follows:

  1. Opening of prepuce is too small to slide back of penis head.
  2. Prepuce muscles are attached with head of penis.
  3. Frenulum is too short ( Frenulum is small elastic band type structure which connects prepuce and glans penis)

4. Phimosis Causes:

  1. Scar of prepuce: Forceful retraction of prepuce can cause minor injury, which gradually heals but leaves scar tissue. Scar tissues are hard and develop into phimosis.
  2. Injury or cut in prepuce: If any injury or cut happens in the prepuce then it causes phimosis.
  3. Infection of penis head (glans penis): Chronic and recurrent infection of glans penis. Sclerosis disease of the penis is the main and most common cause of pathological Phimosis. Sclerous scar are non-elastic scar, which prevents retraction of foreskin.
  4. Diabetes: Diabetic person has the higher risk for phimosis. Increased amount of glucose in urine increases the chance of infection thus increases chance of it.

5. Severity of Phimosis:

infographic infographic Severity of Phimosis

Read more: Erectile Dysfunction (ED): Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

6. Phimosis Treatment:

In child less than 13 year does not need any treatment. After age of 13 years it is good to go for clinical checkup just to rule out any other complications. One should take effective treatment for it after the age of 16 only.

Relaxation massage or forceful retraction should not try as it may worsen the condition.

  • Steroid cream for phimosis: Phimosis cream is the combinations of steroid. Application of steroid cream (such as betamethasone – dexamethasone etc) reduces inflammatory reaction and it also relaxes prepuce opening.
  • Phimosis stretching: Gently stretching of the foreskin, after application of the cream, gradually relaxes muscle.
  • Antibiotics: They treat infection of glans or UTI.
  • Phimosis Surgery: Partial or complete circumcision is the last and effective treatment for it.

6.1. Home Remedies and Effective Treatment:

  • Massage with castor oil: Castor oil has property to relax muscle and reduce swelling and it is safe to use in genital area.
  • Coconut oil.

Take any of the above-mentioned oil, apply at the tip of the penis and prepuce. If tip of penis is open then put few drops of oil in between prepuce and head. Then massage softly and slowly try to stretch foreskin backward. Always be cautious not to hurt or to use extra pressure. Do not retract skin in first chance. Be slow with this treatment.

Do above massage for 2-5 minutes for 2 months. This is a very effective treatment.

6.2. Avoid Painful Surgery – Circumcision Risks:

Unfortunately, most phimosis sufferers when visiting a urologist they are told that the best way to treat a tight foreskin is to undergo circumcision. However, this is not true and it is a fact that phimosis can be conservatively treated without a circumcision.

There are no significant risks with phimosis surgery, but the healing period can be quite a drawback to the patientโ€™s everyday life and has some permanent penis alterations.

First of all, after the surgery there will be pain in the area. This might be pretty intense during the healing period and it will start reducing as long as healing goes.

During urination, extreme caution is needed, due to two factors. One is that during urination, there will be pain and in some cases this will be severe. Second is that urine must not come in contact, by any means, with the circumcised place. If this happens, there will be extreme pain and a high probability for further infections.

After the surgery, the glans will be constantly exposed. This is a permanent condition or side effect. For that reason the patient will have to avoid going out of his home for some time, in order to prevent its glans from touching with the fabric of his underwear. However, when the healing period is over, the glans will be constantly coming in touch with clothes. This will result in the death of some neurons located on the glans and the penis will lose some of its sensitivity.

These are the effects of a circumcision and we strongly believe that this procedure is much more painful and time consuming than healing phimosis in the comfort of your own home, avoiding the surgery and its permanent side effects.

a) The Glansie Device:

Glansie is a patented device made from surgical grade stainless steel and comes with a full money-back guarantee. It can help you treat your phimosis as it has helped thousand men around the world. Here are the benefits of Glansie:

  • Cure phimosis without going to the doctor
  • Avoid Surgery
  • Simple process, in the privacy of your own home
  • Money Back Guarantee
  • Permanent results
  • Loosen your foreskin and fully retract it to expose your glans
  • Eliminate infections, foul smells and improve your hygiene
  • Get back your confidence with women
  • Recommended and Tested by Urologists

b) Regain your confidence:

Both circumcision and phimosis have an impact on the patientโ€™s sexual life. Circumcision will permanently alter it, making the penis less sensitive and reducing the length of the foreskin.

Phimosis does not let men fully enjoy the pleasures of their intercourse. They might also have reduced sensitivity, since the glans cannot be exposed and they may experience some pain, due to the tightness of the foreskin.

Also, they might have to constantly think about it and not letting their girlfriends or spouses retract the accident by force. This can have an effect on the patientโ€™s flirtatious interactions. It might also be a constant headache to keep thinking all the time about the foreskin and the caution needed.

By curing the phimosis, the patient receives one more great benefit. Peace of mind.

7. FAQs:

7.1. How can I cure phimosis at home?

In the majority of cases tight foreskins can be loosened sufficiently after a few weeks of persistent stretching.

Below are described two techniques for stretching a tight foreskin:

a. Ridged band stretch:

  1. Insert the ends of two fingers at the inner sides of the foreskin opening and begin to pull them gently apart. Gently apply as much tension so that the stretch feels mildly uncomfortable but not painful. Hold in this position for 30 to 60 seconds, then relax for a few seconds before repeating. Keep this up (no pun intended) for about 15 minutes and do it twice a day. Ideally this should be done after soaking in a warm bath.
  2. After being performed persistently this exercise will also help to avoid Paraphimosis which is where the retracted foreskin gets trapped below the glans of the penis which can be both painful and distressing.
  3. If this happens try and ease the foreskin forward but if after several attempts you donโ€™t manage to bring the foreskin back over the glans then seek medical help.

2. The pull back stretch:

  1. If the foreskin is particularly tight and inserting two fingers at the opening is not yet feasible then the easiest first approach is to simply pull back on the skin at the shaft of the penis so that the foreskin opening feels tight but again without pain. Hold the stretched position for a couple of minutes and then relax. Again repeat this process over a period of 15 minutes a couple of times a day. This process is more effective and easier if performed with an erection.
  2. Following persistent stretching over a few weeks the opening will get bigger and arrive to the point where it can almost fit over the rim of the penis glans when erect. At this point take care to avoid trapping the foreskin behind the glans (Paraphimosis) when it becomes loose enough to happen but tight enough to be difficult to bring forward again. Instead move on to the first ridge band exercise described above.

In both of the above approaches if the foreskin opening becomes sore or small splits develop you will need to stop and let things heal.

You may notice that as you progressively expose more of the glans (the head) of the penis that it is super sensitive or even painful to the touch. Gradually this over sensitivity will subside as you continue your exercises. Try gently exposing the glans to the running water of a tap or the spray of the shower to decrease sensitivity.

If you continue slowly with this process it is highly likely you will see results after a few weeks, stop too soon however and most likely things will just tighten up again.

7.2. What if foreskin stretching is impractical?

The condition of phimosis can be mild or severe and this will influence the amount of time required to loosen the foreskin sufficiently. Very severe phimosis also known as pinhole phimosis is where the the glans or head of the penis cannot be exposed even when flaccid since the foreskin is so tight and the diameter of the phimotic band is very narrow to the point where urination can be painful. In these cases it may be required to invest some months of strecthing in order to see results.

It is important to note that all skin stretches and the foreskin is no different, in reality what is happening is that new skin cells are being created as we stretch. this process is somewhat similar to what happens to our skin when we become overweight. In order to speed up the process we can employ a topical cream, ointment, foam, lotion or gel such as betamethasone which normally requires a prescription from your doctor. You should not apply this kind of topical steroid for more than three months at a rate of a couple of times a day.

As described in the article on phimosis strecthing if it is not possible to insert your fingers or a device in order to stretch simply start by pulling back on the penile skin which will naturally draw the foreskin back and stretch it, once you start to see results you can move onto other techniques.

7.3. What is frenulum breve and can it be treated?

The frenulum is much like the joining ridge under the tongue. A small piece of skin under the glans joins the glans to the foreskin. On the erect penis if the frenulum is short, when one retracts the foreskin and then lets go, the foreskin slides or springs forward again.

During erection the short frenulum tethers the foreskin forward, on the contrary intercourse exerts forces which pull the foreskin backward. This will cause a variety of pleasure/pain sensations.

With frenulum breve (also known as having a short banjo string) the foreskin may be mobile, but cannot retract due to insufficient slack in the frenulum. It is entirely possible to have phimosis and frenulum breve, indeed, most men with full phimosis possess a certain element of frenulum brevity.

You will notice the problem while having sex without a condom as soon as the foreskin is involuntarily and repeatedly pulled backwards . The stress often causes pain, soreness, and bruising for some days afterwards, or maybe the frenulum can rip. Occasionally, this leads to it tearing during intercourse.

Just like the phimotic band the frenulum can also be effectivly stretched although it is slightly more tricky.

In case you have tore your frenulum through sexual activity, allow it to heal before following these instructions.

  1. Locate the phimotic ring
  2. Grip the end of the frenulum which joins onto the phimotic ring between thumb and forefinger
  3. Pull away from the body (from the glans) until taut, and a little uncomfortable.
  4. Hold for thirty seconds, then let it go. It may help to hook your thumb around to stop the frenulum slipping away.

Repeat twice a day for several weeks before seeing results.

7.4. Why certain men have phimosis?

Usually phimosis is present and birth and can be solved on its own. Pathological phimosis can be caused by scarring and balanitis. Either way the problem has to be resolved. I believe itโ€™s important to not spend too much time on why phimosis occurs but rather how to solve it.

Some people believe that circumcision is the way to go but others would prefer to avoid and try natural ways to resolve tight foreskin. Stretching techniques are usually the natural method for resolving this problem. However, its very important to do this safe to avoid something called paraphimosis where the foreskin that is retracted is difficult to put back forward. The result can be painful and can cause swelling of the head.

Any natural phimosis treatment should be safe and not painful. Forcing is not something that should be done in my opinion. It can lead to injury and set back your progress. This is why its important to follow a proven method that is safe. All men are different and it could take more time for some compared to others.

8. Disclaimer:

Above article is only for knowledge purpose. Please contact your healthcare provider before using any of above medicine or method. For any query or personal consultation according to your health condition, please contact your doctor.

9. Conclusion:

A normal adult male can retract the foreskin of penis from penis head. This is normal and does not cause any pain. This physiology of male sex organ provides a smooth and comfortable penis erection during intercourse. During sexual stimulus, penis shaft and head increase their length and weight and prepuce retract back and makes head visible.

But when a male is not able to do it, that condition is called phimosis. It happens because the opening of prepuce is small. Due to which, it does not allow head of penis to pass through it. Thus foreskin of penis is unable to retract back over head.

While there is a physical discomfort with tight foreskin, there is also a mental one. Up to a certain point you may have thought this was common and then you realized it was not. It is at this point that many men seek out a solution that will end their mental anguish. Many of them are told that circumcision will solve the problem and it does. However, this should be the last resort for many as it can be very painful for adults.

Most men do not want to go through circumcision because of the pain and continue suffering with this problem mentally. They are afraid to have intercourse or to find a partner because they are too embarrassed. In the locker room, they may be shy to take a shower or change clothes in front of other men. It is not a wonder that many develop a fear over this sort of condition.

It would not be so bad for them had they had been told about alternative solution to circumcision. There are many topical creams or stretching exercises that are suppose to help loosen tight foreskin in a short period of time. The problem is that many men are not taking action with an effective treatment. Instead, they are spending more time worrying behind closed doors. Unfortunately, this does not solve anything as only action can bring results. Even if you are able to loosen you foreskin by a little, it is still an accomplishment and shows that your phimosis treatment is working.

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