Phimosis is a condition in males where the foreskin is too tight to be fully pulled back over the glans (head of the penis). This is quite normal in babies and toddlers; most uncircumcised baby boys have a foreskin that will not retract, however, at around the age of two years old, the foreskin should start to separate from the glans.
Whilst Phimosis is generally not a problem to most males, it can in some cases lead to symptoms such as soreness, redness, swelling and even difficulty urinating. Should you or your child suffer from these symptoms, it is important to seek treatment immediately.
The swelling of the glans is known as Balanitis. This is a condition that is most common in uncircumcised males suffering from Phimosis, where the foreskin is too tight to retract, making it more difficult to thoroughly clean the penis. In some cases, if the penis is not kept clean, this can lead to a build-up of discharge called smegma which can irritate the skin, causing the glans and the foreskin to swell uncomfortably.
For many men who suffer from Balanitis, this can be treated with prescription-only medication such as antibiotics, however, in some cases of Phimosis, if Balanitis is persistent and other treatment is unsuccessful, circumcision is viewed as an option. Whilst other options such as medication or steroid cream to encourage the foreskin to stretch and retract will be suggested first, in some cases where Phimosis leads to persistent Balanitis, circumcision may be the best option to prevent the occurrence of any further problems.
Whilst Phimosis is a condition where the foreskin is too tight to be retracted over the glans, Paraphimosis is where the foreskin cannot be returned back to its normal position after being retracted. Linke Phimosis, this can lead to the glans becoming very painful, and requires immediate medical treatment to prevent complications that could occur from swelling and restricted blood flow to the penis.
Whilst Paraphimosis can usually be treated under a local anaesthetic, with a doctor pressing on the glans whilst pushing the foreskin forward, in some cases, a small slit may need to be made to the foreskin to help relieve pressure and bring it forward. In some more severe cases, or when it is likely that there will be further problems in the future, circumcision may be recommended.
If you or your child are suffering from Phimosis or Paraphimosis, and it has been recommended that you are circumcised, you can visit a circumcision clinic in Birmingham. Circumcision clinics offer specialist care and aftercare services, as well as state of the art facilities.