KidsMD Health Topics

Phimosis and Paraphimosis

  • What is phimosis and paraphimosis?

    Phimosis is a constriction of the opening of the foreskin so that it cannot be drawn back over the tip of the penis. This condition is a normal occurrence in the newborn boy, but over time, the skin that adheres to the tip of the penis can be retracted as the foreskin loosens. By age 17, 99 percent of males will be able to completely retract their foreskin.

    • Phimosis can also occur if the foreskin is forced back before it’s ready. This can cause a fibrous scar to form, which may prevent future retraction of the foreskin.
    • Paraphimosis occurs when the foreskin is retracted behind the corona (or crown) of the penis and cannot be returned to the unretracted position. This can cause entrapment of the penis, impairing the drainage of blood, and may be serious.

    What are the symptoms of phimosis and paraphimosis?

    The following are the most common symptoms of phimosis and paraphimosis. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

    Phimosis:

    • bulging of the foreskin during urination
    • inability to completely retract the foreskin by age 3 (in some children this process may take longer)

    Paraphimosis:

    • swelling of the tip of the penis as the foreskin is retracted or pulled back
    • pain
    • inability to pull the foreskin back over the tip of the penis
    • discoloration, either dark red or bluish color of the tip of the penis
  • In depth text

  • How is phimosis or paraphimosis diagnosed?

    A careful physical examination by your child's physician normally provides satisfactory information to make a diagnosis.

  • Treatment for repeated phimosis may involve application of a steroid cream to the foreskin up to three times a day for about a month to loosen the adhesive ring. If the child has ballooning of the foreskin during urination after the age of 10, a circumcision (surgical removal of all or part of the foreskin) may be recommended.

    Treatment for paraphimosis may involve lubricating the foreskin and tip of the penis and then gently squeezing the tip of the penis while pulling the foreskin forward. If this is ineffective, a small incision to relieve the tension may be performed. An emergency circumcision (surgical removal of all or part of the foreskin) may be recommended.

Request an Appointment

If this is a medical emergency, please dial 9-1-1. This form should not be used in an emergency.

Patient Information
Date of Birth:
Contact Information
Appointment Details
Send RequestIf you do not see the specialty you are looking for, please call us at: 617-355-6000.International visitors should call International Health Services at +1-617-355-5209.
Please complete all required fields

This department is currently not accepting appointment requests online. Please call us at: 617-355-6000. International +1-617-355-6000.

This department is currently not accepting appointment requests online. Please call us at: 617-355-6000. International +1-617-355-6000.

Thank you.

Your request has been successfully submitted

You will be contacted within 1 business day.

If you have questions or would like more information, please call:

617-355-6000 +1-617-355-6000
close
Find a Doctor
Search by Clinician's Last Name or Specialty:
Select by Location:
Search by First Letter of Clinician's Last Name: *ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
BrowseSearch
Condition & Treatments
Search for a Condition or Treatment:
Show Items Starting With: *ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
View allSearch
Locations
The future of pediatrics will be forged by thinking differently, breaking paradigms and joining together in a shared vision of tackling the toughest challenges before us.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO
Close