Is phimosis dangerous?
If identified and treated at an early stage, phimosis does not pose any major threats to the life of any man. But if taken lightly and not provided with treatment, it can be dangerous. Men with phimosis are at a greater risk of developing penile cancer. If left untreated, phimosis can result in the removal of the penis or the glans.
Hence, it is very important for a man to maintain good penile hygiene and be gentle while cleaning the foreskin to prevent the painful condition of phimosis. Additionally, men should avoid using harsh soaps and cleansers to clean the genitals and use only lukewarm water to clean the foreskin.
Are phimosis and paraphimosis the same?
Phimosis and paraphimosis are both common penile problems but are different from each other.
In phimosis, the foreskin becomes tight and cannot be retracted over the glans penis. Phimosis is very common in babies and young boys. In older men, the problem may occur due to chronic penile infection and inflation in the foreskin and the penis. The tight foreskin may cause a problem in urination and for the man to indulge in any sexual activity.
On the other hand, in paraphimosis, the foreskin can be retracted but cannot be pulled forward again. Paraphimosis mostly occurs if the foreskin is retracted immediately after a medical procedure. Paraphimosis leads to swelling of the glans penis and increases pressure to the retracted foreskin. The condition often prevents the flow of blood from reaching the penis, which may result in damage to the penile tissue.
While phimosis is not a medical emergency, paraphimosis is. Paraphimosis needs medical treatment at the earliest
How to cure phimosis at home?
The best and the most effective method to treat phimosis is circumcision.
To prevent or treat phimosis, the doctor often suggests foreskin stretching exercises. In case stretching does not help, the doctor may suggest alternative medical treatments and home remedies before resorting to surgery, such as:
Antibiotics - If phimosis is the result of bacterial of a fungal infection, the doctor may prescribe antibiotics to kill the infection. Common antibiotics prescribed to treat phimosis are clotrimazole and flucloxacillin.
Phimosis creams - Doctors often suggest steroid creams for phimosis.
Can phimosis be prevented?
Good hygiene of the penis can lower the chances of phimosis or other related conditions. Some good penis hygiene tips are described below-
- The foreskin should be washed regularly. The foreskin should be pulled back and gently rinsed with soap and water every time a bath is taken. This is done to prevent any buildup of urine, dirt, bacteria and other substances.
- The entire penis- tip, shaft, base, and scrotum- should be washed thoroughly.
- Loose, breathable underwear should be worn so that excessive moisture doesn’t build up under the foreskin.
- Pubic hair should be removed to prevent bacterial/fungal infections that can lead to phimosis.
Circumcision for phimosis - Benefits and risks
Medical practitioners consider circumcision to be highly effective for penile problems like phimosis. The primary benefits include:
- Reduced risk of STIs in men
- Protection against penile cancer
- Lowers the risk of cervical cancer in their female sexual partners
- Prevents balanitis and balanoposthitis
But like any other surgical methods, circumcision too has some amount fo risks including:
- Post-surgery pain
- Risk of swelling and infection in the surgical area
- Risk of penile injury
The benefits of circumcision outweigh the risks any day. If performed by an experienced doctor, the patient is highly unlikely to suffer from any risk or complication.