A tight foreskin can be uncomfortable, and it can be prone to infections. This is called phimosis, and it can be a serious condition. If your child is struggling with a tight foreskin, here is what you need to do.
1. Be gentle.
Remember the foreskin is very sensitive, and it covers the even more sensitive tip of the penis. When dealing with this part of the body, always be gentle. If necessary, try to pull back the foreskin very slowly.
Never forcefully retract the foreskin. Remember that it doesn't retract until your child is older — usually age five but sometimes not until the teen years. If it doesn't retract easily, leave it alone or consult with a doctor.
2. Work with a pediatrician who understands foreskins.
When choosing your pediatrician, make sure they understand the foreskin. Because circumcision was such a widespread practice for so many decades in the United States, some pediatricians haven't had a lot of patients with foreskins. As a result, some pediatricians have even retracted their patients before they were ready.
Whether you're dealing with phimosis or routine medical care, you need a doctor who understands your child's natural body. You also need a non-circ friendly doctor so they don't resort to circumcision as an option anytime you have an issue with the foreskin.
3. Keep the foreskin clean.
To prevent infections or issues such as phimosis, make sure to keep the penis clean. When your child's foreskin starts to naturally retract, remind them of the importance of cleaning under it. They should be comfortable pulling back the foreskin and washing it.
4. Know the signs of an issue.
A foreskin that is tight because it has not retracted is not a problem. That is not a sign of phimosis. Instead, the signs include swelling, unusual tenderness, blood in urine, discharge under the foreskin, and painful erections. If your child has these issues, you need to get them to a doctor.
5. Explore phimosis cures such as stretching.
Once you're at the doctor, they can tell you if your child has phimosis or another issue. Then, it's time to talk about phimosis cures. You may want to start with a noninvasive option such as a steroid cream. In some cases, doctors put small cuts in the foreskin to help it stretch. In other cases, they may use weights to stretch it. They can talk with you about the options so you can pick the best treatment for your child's situation.
For more information about phimosis foreskin stretching, contact a local doctor.