The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

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Question

Hi!

I am 15 and I can pull my foreskin right back, but when it is pulled back it is really tight and I don't know if it is normal or if if I need to be circumcised.


Answer

Before considering surgery, let's try some basic things first that might give you relief.

The medical term for your condition is called phimosis. Since you are able to pull your foreskin back, you have a mild case. For some men, the foreskin opening is so tight, the glans (the head of the penis) isn't able to fit through the opening during an erection.

First, try the following stretches to loosen the foreskin:

  • Pull the foreskin forward, away from the body, as far as you can comfortably do so and hold it in that position for one or two minutes. Do this as often as you can: before getting dressed, when in the restroom, or when taking a shower.
  • Pull the foreskin forward slightly, and stretch the end sideways as far as comfortable. Like before, hold it in that position for one or two minutes.
  • When you can, put a finger into the opening of the foreskin. You might have to start with your smallest finger and eventually work your way to up to your thumb. Put the finger between your glans and the foreskin and then rub the foreskin against the finger until it turns pale (about five minutes). You will need to work your finger around to get all sides of the foreskin. You might consider using some lotion or vaseline to rub into the foreskin to soften it.
  • Eventually you should get to the point where you can two fingers into the opening and then gently stretch it outwards. Continue rubbing the foreskin between your fingers as you stretch it and use a lotion to soften the skin.

If, after a month or two, you don't see any progress you will need to see a doctor, either your regular physician or an urologist. Some doctors will try to push you to have surgery, but ask if you can try a steroid cream first. Steroids will stimulate growth and what you would like is for the skin of your foreskin to grow a bit. What you do is use the steroid cream instead of lotion as you rub and stretch your foreskin. It is used on both the outside and inside surface of the foreskin.

If this doesn't work, there are two options. You can get a full circumcision or you can ask if the surgeon can slit the foreskin where it is tight. The later will allow you to retain your foreskin, but remove the tightness.