What is Phimosis?
Phimosis is a medical condition that occurs mainly in children and some adults. In this condition, the foreskin of the penis cannot be retracted, and the penis may have rings around the tip. Usually, the specialists at Max Healthcare group suggest that you don’t need phimosis treatment unless it causes problems like:
- Redness or discolouration that may occur with infection/irritation.
- Swelling (inflammation).
- Discomfort when urinating (dysuria).
- Pain during sexual activity or erections.
Types of Phimosis
There are two types of Phimosis: physiological and pathological. The physiological type usually resolves itself with age and is typical among children. The pathological type is Balanitis Xerotica Obliterans (BXO), which may require treatment.
How is Phimosis diagnosed?
Doctors suggest specific tests to diagnose Phimosis to check the occurrence of infection in discharge or urine. Phimosis can also be diagnosed through a physical exam. It usually disappears during childhood. If he has trouble urinating, he may need treatment. Surgery is rarely required, and more often, Phimosis is treated with the application of a steroid cream.
Treatment of Phimosis
Know That You are Not Alone
As parents, you may want to try to address the condition, but medical specialists suggest not to try treatment at home. Many try to pull the foreskin of the penis back, which may lead to scarring, injuries, or pain. If the foreskin is tight, it may get stuck behind the penis when pulled back, restricting blood flow. This condition should be treated immediately by a doctor. Don’t try to clean the area using a cotton swab, as this could damage or injure the delicate skin.
When to See a Doctor
If the Phimosis does not improve and the child has difficulty urinating, it is suggested to visit a specialist. The doctor will check if it’s a natural phenomenon or if it is leading to paraphimosis. The need for phimosis treatment depends on the age of the child.
Doctors suggest 3 treatment options:
Phimosis treatment – 1
Wait and see if the Phimosis goes away on its own. Many doctors advise waiting for the problem to get better on its own.
About 18 out of 100 children who used a drug-free cream for 4 to 8 weeks or received no treatment could retract the foreskin successfully.
Phimosis treatment – 2
As suggested by the specialist, you can use a steroid cream that can be applied to stretch the foreskin. If it does not help, surgery is recommended. This approach involves applying the cream on the tip of the foreskin twice a day for 4-8 weeks. The steroid cream facilitates the stretching of the skin.
After a couple of weeks, you can try and stretch or push back the foreskin without causing pain. Then you can apply the cream to the exposed front of the glans to ensure the foreskin is returned to its normal position.
Researchers from an international research team, namely Cochrane Collaboration, have claimed that this treatment is often successful. About 62 out of 100 children who used the steroid cream treatment stated that Phimosis disappeared entirely and the cream helped loosen the foreskin a little.
There were no side effects reported. Although the treatment doesn’t guarantee a permanent fix to the problem, Phimosis will likely return sometime after steroid cream treatment. You must continue the application of the cream on the doctor’s recommendation. You must undergo surgery if Phimosis persists or if pain or complications develop.
Phimosis treatment – 3
Having an operation removes part or the entire foreskin (circumcision). In secondary Phimosis, the foreskin becomes tight or sticks to the glans due to injury, scar tissue, or inflammation. This type of Phimosis usually requires surgery.
In the case of paraphimosis, the doctors try to pull the skin back to its original position with their hands. If the problem persists, the specialists may go for surgery or circumcision, which involves surgeons making longitudinal cuts in the foreskin of the penis and then sewing them over.
Phimosis is not a life-threatening disease, but you must not completely ignore the problem. It is found in many children, so the best advice is to wait and watch. If the situation gets worse, and the child experiences pain or discomfort, consult a doctor who will diagnose the situation and suggest the best treatment option for Phimosis.
If it happens to an adult, it may generally require surgery, as there is some evidence that tight foreskins may promote the development of tumours in the penis. However, more research is needed in this area. Reach out to the Max Healthcare group for further medical assistance.
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