This site is intended for healthcare professionals

Go to /sign-in page

You can view 5 more pages before signing in

Foreskin retraction (natural history)

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

  • glans penis and prepuce have a common epithelium which gradually separates and keratinises.

  • time of completion of separation occurs any time from late gestation to teens.

  • in 4% of newborn boys there can be complete retraction of the prepuce.

  • full retraction is not possible in up to 60% of 6-9 year olds due to remnants of the common epithelium.
  • by the age of 16-17 years, approximately 95% of the boys will have a retractable foreskin (1)

  • smegma forms in the preputial space as the child matures in 1% of 6-7 year olds and 8% of 16-17 year olds. It is sensible to direct boys from about the age of 7 years to gently retract the foreskin during bathing to wash the glans and the preputial space, and then to replace the foreskin.


Related pages

Create an account to add page annotations

Add information to this page that would be handy to have on hand during a consultation, such as a web address or phone number. This information will always be displayed when you visit this page