A condition in which the foreskin of the penis cannot be retracted or pulled back is referred to as phimosis. It is usually found in uncircumcised children and adults. In the case of baby boys, it is resolved naturally by the age of 3. The penis of a male with phimosis will appear to have rings around the tip. This condition can occur naturally or due to scarring, and it isn’t a problem until they start showing symptoms. If phimosis doesn’t fade with age, these young boys should be treated as they grow up.

What are the Symptoms of Phimosis?

The primary symptoms of phimosis are as follows.

Inability to Retract Foreskin

Those that suffer from phimosis are unable to retract the foreskin by the time they are 3 years old. Ordinarily, this foreskin loosens as time passes, however, it may take additional time in some boys. Ideally, by the time he is around 17 years old, a boy should be able to retract his foreskin with ease.


An additional symptom of phimosis is swelling of the foreskin while urinating.

Discoloration / Bruising

This might occur on the tip of the penis.

What are the Causes of Phimosis?

  • Natural Occurrence

Phimosis can occur naturally. Thus far the reason why it arises in some boys and not others remains unclear.

  • Forcible Retraction

If the foreskin is forcibly retracted prior to it being ready, it can give rise to phimosis. As a result, surrounding skin can be harmed and may lead to scarring owing to which foreskin is harder to retract in the future.

  • Inflammation and/ or infection

An skin infection or inflammation of the foreskin or the glans (i.e., the head of the penis) can give rise to phimosis in boys as well as men. The inflammation of the glans is known as Balanitis. It can arise either due to poor hygiene or due to the foreskin being infected.

  • Lichen Sclerosus

This infection can give rise to the aforementioned Balanitis. A skin condition, Lichen Sclerosus arises due to a hormone imbalance or can be triggered by an abnormal immune reaction. Should a boy or man suffer from this condition, he may experience white spots or patches on the foreskin as symptoms. He may also find that the skin in that region is itchy and easily tears.

Risk factors For Phimosis

A number of factors today increase the risk of contracting phimosis. Listed below are some of the risk factors associated with phimosis. It is important to note that not all boys and men that meet the following conditions will necessarily contract phimosis.

  • Uncircumcised

No circumcision can increase the risk of getting phimosis.

  • Diabetes

Diabetic boys and men have a greater chance of suffering from phimosis

  • Diaper rash

Infants that frequently had diaper rashes are more likely to suffer from phimosis.

  • Poor hygiene

A lack of basic hygiene can give rise to phimosis.

  • Young age

Younger boys are at a greater risk of suffering from phimosis.

Diagnosis of Phimosis

The diagnosis of phimosis involves the following.

  • Medical History

In order to diagnose whether or not a male suffers from phimosis, a doctor will need to be made aware of the medical history of the patient.

  • Prior Infections and Injuries

Previous penis infections and injuries the patient might have suffered from are relevant here.

  • Sexual Activity

Whether any of the symptoms the patient has experienced have impacted their sexual activity will also be discussed.

  • Physical Examination

A physical examination of the penis and foreskin is also required.

  • Urine Tests

A doctor may ask the patient to do some urine tests to assess whether he suffers from any urine infections.

  • Swab Test

A swab may be taken from the foreskin area to check whether there is any bacteria.

  • Blood sugar levels tested

Owing to the fact that phimosis is a risk for those diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, adults who have a tight foreskin may be asked to do blood and urine tests to assess the same.

Complications in Phimosis

Phimosis, if left untreated, can give rise to serious complications some of which can even be life threatening. You can minimize the risk of these complications by following the treatment plan provided to you by a healthcare professional. Listed below are the complications associated with phimosis.


  • Cannot ejaculate with ease

  • Cannot urinate with ease

  • Gangrene

  • Infertility

  • Sexual intercourse is painful

  • Posthitis (this refers to the inflammation of the prepuce)

  • Recurrent infections

  • Scarring of the penile opening

Phimosis Treatment

Boys and men that get treated for phimosis can prevent further discomfort and injury. Treatment varies in accordance with the general health and age of the patient. Listed below are the methods used to treat phimosis.

  • Topical steroid cream for phimosis

Phimosis treatment without surgery makes use of this cream which helps loosen the foreskin and manipulate it.

  • Circumcision (Phimosis surgery)

This method is rarely provided and arises in instances of swelling interfering with the patient’s ability to urinate.

Home Remedies for Phimosis

Phimosis home treatments listed below can help ease the discomfort a man or boy suffers from.

  • Over-the-counter creams

These can be applied to the affected region. They are recommended by physicians.

  • Anti-inflammatory medication

This medication includes Ibuprofen which helps release pain and inflammation. Physicians must always be sought out as they can accurately guide about the medicines.

  • Washcloth

Apply a warm, damp washcloth to the affected region to help soothe it.

Here Are Some Tips to Prevent Phimosis

In order to prevent phimosis from arising it is important to maintain good hygiene. Clean the penis as well as under the foreskin with care. Use warm water and make sure to clean the region each day to help avoid problems. Daily cleaning helps keep the skin loose and avoid the chances of infections.


In the event that you or your child suffers from phimosis, medication and treatment are available. Always consult a healthcare expert prior to taking any course of treatment. This holds particularly true in the case of young boys who suffer from phimosis. A prudent approach is to get yourself and your family covered by a health insurance plan which will provide you financial support should you be afflicted by phimosis or any other illness. A couple of the best health insurance plans available at Bajaj Markets are listed below for your reference.

Health Insurance Plans Available on Bajaj Markets

No Room Rent Capping | No Medical Check-up up to 55yrs | Tax Benefit up to Rs.75,000 | Buy Health Insurance starting @ ₹160 pm check plans
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