Physiologic phimosis occurs when an infant is born with the foreskin covering the head of the penis and cannot be pulled back. It looks like a tight ring of skin around the penis tip. Phimosis is normal in uncircumcised infants and will separate with time. It typically resolves by ages 5 to 7 years old.
Physiologic Phimosis Treatment
There is no recommended treatment for physiologic phimosis. It is normal for infants with penises and will likely resolve independently.
Do not forcibly retract the foreskin. However, you may gently work to cleanse underneath the foreskin during a bath. Stretch the skin gently and pull it back only as far as possible without hurting your infant. As your child ages, they will learn to clean under their foreskin.
When to Contact Your Pediatric Healthcare Provider
- Redness or swelling
- Bleeding around the foreskin
- Discharge from under the foreskin, usually paired with an unpleasant scent
- Painful urination
- Blood in urine
In some cases, your pediatric healthcare provider will prescribe a steroid cream to apply to the foreskin. Steroid cream will help to reduce inflammation and itchiness. In rare cases, the phimosis will not resolve, and your provider may recommend a circumcision.
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