Conditions

Tight foreskin

Crying baby

A tight foreskin is actually normal in non-circumcised boys under six, and some men go through their whole lives with the condition and don’t feel it’s a particular problem. But for others it can be painful and embarrassing. So what exactly does it mean, and what treatments are available?

The medical name for a tight foreskin is phimosis, and it means that the foreskin – the flesh at the tip of the penis – cannot be pulled be back to reveal the head of the penis (the glans). There are degrees of tightness, and in some boys the foreskin may go back a little, while in others it’s so tight it makes going to the loo painful.

In most boys, by ten years old the foreskin is naturally loose enough to be pulled back and even if, by this stage, it is not, the condition will often pass as boys grow up. But if it doesn’t, it can carry on making urination painful and make the area liable to infection.

Don’t let your son try and pull the foreskin back himself (or do it for him) as this can cause damage to the penis, and cause the foreskin itself to get stuck – a very painful condition called paraphimosis which needs urgent medical treatment.

Instead, let your doctor have a look. If necessary he can prescribe an ointment which is applied to the end of the penis to loosen the foreskin. Some men with the condition also do daily stretching exercises which are designed to ease the foreskin back from the tip of the penis over a period of weeks or months.

Apart from any pain, a tight foreskin can mean an increased likelihood of infection – one in 25 uncircumcised boys experience a condition called balanitis, which means the end of the penis and the tip of the foreskin become red and sore. Though circumcision is usually done when boys are babies, it can be performed on older children and even adult men under a general anaesthetic, and is one way of dealing with a tight foreskin.

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Please note: Unfortunately Channel 4 cannot respond to individual inquiries. If you have any concerns, you can check out NHS Choices, but ultimately it is always best to check with a health professional.

Hi My name is Oliver I'm uncircumcised my question is every time i have an erection mypenis goesmreally big if that's normal and everytime I need to wee it's really painful where on the hole of penis on the top where the wee comes out of.





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The very tip of the foreskin hole od too small to go over the glands and the skin is also full attached to the left side of the glands, I'm 17 years old





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I want to book a doctors appointment over the phone as it's less awkward than in person, when booking over the phone will they ask what the problem is? Just I would like to keep it private as possible, possibly me and the doctor. As I want the cream to speed up the process will the doctor want to check my foreskin? I'm really shy and would feel really uncomfortable if this is the case. It's not the easiest thing to talk about. Also will it be a male or female doctor and will a normal walk in have the cream? Thanks -Liam





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I can pull my foreskin back perfectly fine while flaccid but when I'm erect I can only pull it back a little is this bad??





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Hi yea he has been given this cream n it hasnt done anything but I have an appointment to see surgeons on 3rd of June so will keep you updated xx





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Hello I am 15 and I can't pull my foreskin back easily, I can pull it all the way backback after masturbation or in the shower but not easily! The problem is I have a bit of skin attached right at the end of the little slit where the pee comes out is this normal?? Please help!





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Hello guys my name is George. I am 15years old and I have a tight foreskin, I have seen many comments on here about stretching and I was wondering just how I am to do this, please help it has kept me back from doing any sort of sexual things. Thanks.





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Hi George. The stretching isn't rocket science so just go for it. Take a bath and soak for a bit. Grab the tip of the foreskin between fingers and thumb and ease it back over the head. Do it a little bit at a time and pull forward again. 2mm today could be 4mm by next week and so on. Eventually you'll get it back all the way behind the head when soft and hard. Hope this helps.

My doctor told me to pull my foreskin back in the bath, but I'm not sure whether to just leave it or pull it back and will it rip if I get an erection?





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Thankyou this is helping, is it ok to masturbate with it over the belend?

Sorry to bother you lot again but I have another question which is bugging me while stretching. When flaccid and stretching my foreskin is up to the point where it will go past the head, how do I know when it's ready to be wide enough to slip past and not worry about it getting stuck? I normally hold it so it won't go any further back. One time I was stretching in the shower flaccid and it went past my head I was so scared and managed to get it back to normal. Thanks. =D





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Hi, I am 18 which seems quite old for this sort of thing but I have a tight foreskin, I was never worried about it even though they could always get it all the way back in films, until I had a girl round and she said it was strange and I needed help. I have never tried stretching until yesterday and I can't get it past around a millimeter or 2 of diameter (definitely not enough to get a finger or two in) and now I am seriously worried. Please Help!





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Hey bro don't worry, I was in the exact mess you are in, I started stretching a few months ago before then I couldn't pull it back any further than you. But now I have almost full retraction of my foreskin erect and flaccid all I did was stretch 2-3 times a day in and out of the shower. I haven't used any cream neither been to the doctors just keep it up bro. Good luck. Best wishes (y)

Hi Martin. A fantastic success story there from Liam. Follow his lead and go for the stretching and you'll be sorted in no time. Thanks a lot Liam - keep spreading the word.


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