In many conditions, the problems do not give any symptoms or has an effect on your regular lifestyle but can cause troubles in the future. Men also suffer from some personal problems other than erectile dysfunction, etc that could create issues with their personal life. Phimosis is a similar condition, in which the foreskin of th e penis is unable to be retracted from the tip. Hence this could become problematic while having physical relations. However, it does not need major treatment unless it makes it difficult for you to urinate or have other urinary problems. Therefore let us know about this condition in detail to be aware of the circumstances.
What is Phimosis?
This is a natural condition that occurs to men when their foreskin cannot be retracted. We spoke to Dr. SK Chauhan, Head Consultant and Urologist in Vozart Healthcare Hospital, Bangalore to know about this condition in detail. He explained that phimosis is natural condition for boys under age of 3 years and then it usually gets normal. However several people do suffer from phimosis in the young age when most of the issues occur. The foreskin or the upper skin of the penis is unable to be pulled back from the tip, which makes it difficult for men to have physical relationships.
Patient of phimosis are those who do not get their penis circumcised and there are no such symptoms of this condition until it becomes severe. Need of treatment also increases in their 20’s when there is increased need to have baby or get into intimate lifestyle.
Symptoms of Phimosis
As mentioned earlier, there are usually no evident symptoms of phimosis in the early stages. The foreskin usually loosens up, but if doesn’t till age of 17, then there could be gradual symptoms.
- There could be swelling around the foreskin while urinating
- Slight pain while urinating
- Unable to get into sexual relationship
- Tight foreskin that could lead to infections
Causes of Phimosis
Phimosis can occur naturally as well, it can be present from birth and then the foreskin in unable to loosen up causing this condition. It is quite unclear that why this condition occurs, because it is evident in some boys, where as it does not happen to others. However there are a few causes that could be responsible for having phimosis.
1. If the foreskin pulled back in a forced situation, especially in the early ages when the kid is below age of 3 years. At that time, it can harm the skin, causing scarring. Therefore it becomes more difficult to retract the foreskin later on in the years. This leads the person to phimosis.
2. Inflammation or infection: Phimosis can also occur because of infection in the head of the penis. Many men do not take care of their personal hygiene because of which after a certain time, they face issues with retracting their skin. Balanitis is another condition that occurs because of inflammation of glans in the penis. This should be consulted with doctor as soon as possible so that infection of inflammation does not spread.
3. Lichen sclerosus- this is a skin infection that usually occurs in the penis. It happens because of irregular or abnormal immune response which leads to hormonal imbalance. Hormonal imbalance in the body causes white patches or spots on the foreskin of the penis. This condition is called lichen sclerosus. Skin infection of this kind can causes irritation and itching in the foreskin multiple time, which may affect the penis and cause balanitis as well.
When Should You Consult a Doctor?
In majority of cases, phimosis gets treated on its own with growing age. However if there is an infection or inflammation in the skin of penis, then it may start showing different symptoms and situation may get worse. Hence you need to be aware of following situations and consult a doctor if any of these occur-
- Pain while urinating
- Itching on penis
- Swelling on the foreskin
- Changes in colour of glans or foreskin
- Presence of white spots or rashes
Treatment Options for Phimosis
Phimosis can be determined by physical examination and the symptoms that the man experiences. Usually these signs are enough to tract an underlying condition or infection such as balanitis.
Treating an infection that has occurred in the penis requires the skin to be diagnosed properly with a swab. Different types of infections require different treatments. For example bacterial infections can be treated by help of antibiotics whereas fungal infection would require some antifungal ointments to be applied.
If there is no infection or inflammation of the skin and the skin is naturally tight on the head of the penis, then other treatments are done. Sometimes a daily gentle retraction exercise may help treat the problem; some people require topical steroid treatment to soften the skin.
In serious cases however, when the skin gets stuck or tight with the penis, then circumcision is the only surgical treatment left. Circumcision is the removal of entire foreskin from the head of the penis. This can be performed on males of almost all ages without any issues. It is usually necessary when men start experiencing urinary tract infections, balanitis and some other serious infection symptoms.
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