A tight foreskin is most commonly diagnosed at an early age, as 95% of 16-17 years olds should be able to retract their foreskins fully. Its medical term is ‘phimosis’ and this comes from the Greek world for ‘muzzle’, which means that men’s constant references to their ‘weapon’ might not be far from the truth…
A man should be able to retract his foreskin over the head of his penis, but if he can’t this can have a discomforting effect when having sex, and can lead to hygiene issues as it becomes difficult to clean the penis effectively. Treatment of the condition has most commonly been circumcision, but this has recently been replaced by use of a topical steroid cream, which when applied for 4-6 weeks can often reduce the constriction of the skin enough to fit the foreskin over the head. There are also ways to permanently stretch the skin, either manually or through use of embedded balloons. If these methods are not affective, then it is possible to have surgery called Preputioplasty, where a dorsal slit is made to relieve the tension, without having to remove the whole foreskin.
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