Infantile Phimosis: Do you need surgery? Causes and Treatments


After the birth of a male baby, the first question that comes to the parents' mind is whether their child can have infantile phimosis and what measures should be taken in relation to this, to know a little more about the subject, know what it is, which are the causes and how is the treatment of this problem.

Phimosis is a normal condition in newborn babies and it can follow the child's life up to 6 years of age, but in general from the age of 2 the foreskin begins to separate from the glans in a natural way, without the need for any type of surgery.

infantile phimosis
infantile phimosis, causes, treatment and surgery

infantile phimosis

Infantile phimosis occurs when the foreskin (skin that covers the glans) is too tight, which makes it impossible to pull it back to expose the glans (head of the penis).

This condition is so common in newborns that about 90% have the problem, but by age 3 to 4 years only about 10% of children will still have problems.


There are two most common reasons that lead to the appearance of phimosis, they are:

  • Diaper rash and infections: In both cases, scars can occur on the foreskin, causing skin retraction.
  • The second case occurs when there are sudden forces on the skin of the foreskin, thus causing small cracks that heal and narrow the canal.


In cases where the phimosis does not come off naturally and in cases where the foreskin is very tight, some unpleasant symptoms can be noticed such as infections obtained from the difficulty of cleaning under the skin of the glans, pain when standing erect, when urinating you may notice the foreskin if expand because of the small opening, bleeding, and difficulty retracting the foreskin.

diagnosis and treatment

Only the doctor will be able to evaluate if it really is a case of phimosis or not, for this he will ask for information such as the symptoms and can also do an exam. It is ideal for parents to accompany the exam in order to prevent the child from being embarrassed.


Now the treatment that the pediatrician or urologist can indicate will depend on the degree of severity of the phimosis, among the most common treatments are:

foreskin exercises

These exercises are intended to increase the elasticity of the foreskin and also loosen the skin if it is stuck together because of scarring.

This treatment consists of gently pulling the foreskin back and forth without causing pain for about 1 minute, it can be done up to 4 times a day.


The application of ointment is done with the aim of thinning and softening the skin of the foreskin to facilitate movement and thus be able to perform a more adequate cleaning, ointment with corticoid is usually used as an example we have Postec and Betnovate.

This form of treatment is indicated for children around 4 to 5 years of age, the ointment is applied 4 times a day for up to 2 months. This procedure has no side effects and when you manage to solve the problem with the ointment, you will avoid having to undergo surgery.

Surgery to remove excess skin

Also known as circumcision, this surgery removes excess skin to facilitate cleaning and thus avoid greater problems that phimosis can cause such as infections, venereal diseases and penile cancer.

Surgery is more indicated when the child is around 7 to 10 years old, since until that age the foreskin can come off naturally, without the need for further interventions.

The surgery is simple, performed by a urologist and takes about 1 hour, the child will have general anesthesia and will be hospitalized for 2 days.

how to avoid phimosis

In cases where phimosis already appears at birth, there is nothing to be done to prevent this problem, now throughout the child's life it is ideal to maintain good hygiene on the penis, and it is important to prevent rashes and infections that can lead to cause of the problem.

It is important for parents to know that the foreskin cannot be forced back in an attempt to expose the glans, this attitude can have the opposite effect causing cracks and consequently phimosis.