Phimosis in the baby

Phimosis in the baby: how it occurs and how it is cured

Phimosis is a normal situation in newborns and children up to two years of age, that is, the skin cannot be removed and the outermost part of the penis, the glans, visible.

Phimosis is a situation of the male genital apparatus, in which the foreskin cannot be retracted normally over the glans .


Despite the fact that 95% of newborns have phimosis at birth (physiological phimosis), only 10% of them at three years of age will have difficulty lowering the foreskin . Therefore, at three years of age, the fact that the foreskin cannot be retracted is no longer a normal situation . Phimosis at this age does not require immediate intervention, since it is very likely that after a few more years the situation will normalize.

From the age of seven or eight, the glans should be completely uncovered to facilitate its hygiene and, later, to be able to have an erection without problems and satisfactory sexual relations.

There is another situation different from phimosis called balano-preputial adhesions . They can cover the entire surface of the glans or just a portion. It is not a complete phimosis and can be easily dislodged without surgery. It is very common for smegma cysts to accumulate in adhesions , made up of whitish, fatty secretions from the glans penis. In most cases, smegma cysts do not cause problems, in others they can become infected.

Treatment of phimosis

The treatment is surgery, but we can try to avoid it through daily exercises that consist of lowering the skin of the foreskin, taking advantage of the daily bath . The removal of the skin should always be done gently so that it does not bleed or form scars that will further close the foreskin. From 3-5 years old, a corticosteroid cream can be added to give greater flexibility to the skin of the foreskin and thus avoid the operation. The pediatrician always has to assess this treatment.

The age of surgical intervention for phimosis is usually performed around seven years of age . It can be done earlier if the child has obstruction or difficulty in urine output with recurrent urinary tract infections. The intervention can also be performed before the age of seven if the pediatric surgeon deems it necessary.

The operation is very simple , the child only spends a few hours in the hospital. A very superficial general sedation and local anesthesia are applied.

After the operation it is normal for the child to have discomfort when peeing for a couple of days. In some cultures, circumcision is routinely performed on all newborns.

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