Phimosis is defined as the inability to retract the skin covering the head of the penis. Young boys may not need treatment for phimosis until it makes urinating difficult or causes other problems.
Causes of Phimosis
Phimosis only affects uncircumcised males and it is more common in boys than men. It is also common in uncircumcised babies and toddlers as the foreskin is attached to the glans.
It is more likely to occur in older males with following conditions:
- Foreskin Infection
- Repeated rough handling of foreskin
- Foreskin Trauma
- Repeated UTI
Symptoms of Phimosis
- Phimosis does not always lead to symptom. When it does these may include redness, soreness or swelling.
- People may find difficulty in urinating or emptying their bladder fully when a tight foreskin interferes with the normal passage of urine.
- Inflammation of penis is caused due to poor hygiene.
- Itchiness, build-up of thick fluid, smelly odour.
- During intercourse, inability to retract the skin might cause pain.
- Occasionally force full retraction of the foreskin and inability to reduce back to normal position is called as paraphimosis.
Diagnosis of Phimosis
Phimosis is a clinical diagnosis after clinical examination asking about previous history penis infection or injuries. Urine test may be done to check for infection if any or by taking a swab from the foreskin area to check for bacteria.
Treatment of Phimosis
- Most cases of Phimosis may be easily treated with creams, ointment and good hygiene.
- Doctors usually advise to clean the penis daily with lukewarm water and dry it gently, use of soap shampoo and bubble bath should be avoided.
- If bacterial infection is found then a course of antibiotics or anti-fungal cream is advised.
- Doctor may also prescribe steroid cream to soften the foreskin and make the retraction easy especially if the case is repeated or gets severe.
- Circumcision remains the gold standard surgery. It may be suggested in which all or part of foreskin is removed. This is usually done on out patient basis or day care basis. The patient can do its routine activities on the medications prescribed.
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