This site is intended for healthcare professionals

Go to /sign-in page

You can view 5 more pages before signing in


Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

Phimosis is the inability to retract the foreskin because of a narrow preputial ring. It affects about 1% of boys.


  • primary (physiological): without sign of scarring (1):
    • congenital - rare
  • secondary (pathological): due to scarring from conditions such as (1)
    • recurrent balanitis
    • traumatic retraction of the foreskin
    • Balanitis xerotica et obliterans (2)

Presentation is with:

  • poor stream
  • ballooning of foreskin on micturition
  • 'spraying' on micturition
  • recurrent attacks of balanitis
  • pain on intercourse in adults
  • in severe cases, hydronephrosis


Physiological phimosis -

  1. since the foreskin becomes retractable with time these patients can be managed conservatively
  2. topical steroids can be applied to the preputial ring may be useful (2)

Pathological phimosis -

  1. circumcision
  2. a short course of topical corticosteroids may be beneficial in mild scarring (2)


Related pages

Create an account to add page annotations

Annotations allow you to add information to this page that would be handy to have on hand during a consultation. E.g. a website or number. This information will always show when you visit this page.