|An erect penis with a case of phimosis|
|Symptoms||Unable to pull the |
|Usual onset||Normal at birth|
|Duration||Typically resolves by 3 years old|
|Causes||Normal, balanitis, |
Phimosis is a condition in which the
In young children, it is normal not to be able to pull back the foreskin. In more than 90% of cases, this inability resolves by the age of seven, and in 99% of cases by age 16. Occasionally, phimosis may be caused by an underlying condition such as scarring due to
Typically, it resolves without treatment by the age of three. Efforts to pull back the foreskin during the early years of a young male's life should not be attempted. For those in whom the condition does not improve further time can be given or a
At birth, the inner layer of the
Medical associations advise not to retract the foreskin of an infant, in order to prevent scarring. Some argue that non-retractability may "be considered normal for males up to and including adolescence." Hill states that full retractability of the foreskin may not be achieved until late childhood or early adulthood. A Danish survey found that the mean age of first foreskin retraction is 10.4 years.
Rickwood, as well as other authors, has suggested that true phimosis is over-diagnosed due to failure to distinguish between normal developmental non-retractability and a pathological condition. Some authors use the terms "physiologic" and "pathologic" to distinguish between these types of phimosis; others use the term "non-retractile foreskin" to distinguish this developmental condition from pathologic phimosis.
In some cases a cause may not be clear, or it may be difficult to distinguish physiological phimosis from pathological phimosis if an infant appears to have discomfort while urinating or demonstrates obvious ballooning of the foreskin. However, ballooning does not indicate urinary obstruction.