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Tight foreskin (phimosis)


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A tight foreskin is normal in young boys and does not usually cause problems. But sometimes a tight foreskin can be swollen and tender.

If you have a tight foreskin, wash underneath it regularly to keep it clean. Do not pull back the foreskin of a child because it could damage it.

Treatments for a tight foreskin can include creams or gels to soften the skin and sometimes surgery to remove the foreskin (circumcision).

Sometimes a very tight foreskin can get stuck and affect the blood supply to the penis. This is a medical emergency called paraphimosis.

A tight foreskin (phimosis) is where it's hard to pull the foreskin (thin layer of skin covering the end of the penis) back from the end of the penis.

Page last reviewed: 11/04/2022
Next review due: 11/04/2025