It’s not uncommon for young intact males to experience some form of phimosis, a situation in which the foreskin is too tight to comfortably retract. Adult phimosis is rarer, but needs to be treated, as it can be a source of considerable penis pain and discomfort. Even intact men who engage in proper penis health routines may fall prey to this condition, so knowing how to treat it is well advised.

What is phimosis?

As mentioned above, when a male has phimosis, it means that the foreskin does not retract behind the glans, which may cause a degree of penis pain. In children, phimosis is normal. One study showed that, at birth, 96% of males had a foreskin that could not be fully retracted; by the time these babies were 3 years old, however, nature had intervened and 90% of them were able to retract the foreskin all the way. At age 17, the figure of intact men who still experience phimosis falls to 1%.

However, it’s possible that even an adult male who has gone through the phimosis experience as a child and emerged with a properly retractable foreskin may at some point come down with an unwanted episode of phimosis. When this occurs in an adult, it is often medically referred to as "pathologic" or "true" phimosis.


Why would an adult male who has successfully retracted his foreskin develop phimosis? There are several factors which may be at play, including:

- Balanitis. Probably the most common culprit of phimosis in adult men is balanitis. When a man has balanitis, it causes the glans to swell up. With the increase in the size of the glans, the foreskin feels much tighter than normal and, in extreme cases, cannot be as comfortably retracted as it could prior to the swelling. This swelling is different than the normal swelling that occurs with an erection.

- Thrush. Men sometimes contract a yeast infection on the penis, often known as thrush or candidiasis. The penis may become red, itchy and sore; there may be swelling due to the infection, which can bring about a phimosis condition. Sometimes thrush results in scarring. Layers of scar tissue around the glans may also cause a tightening of the foreskin, making retraction difficult.

- Diabetes. Diabetes can on occasion contribute to a tightening of the foreskin. This occurs when glucose levels in urine are too high, resulting in an infection and subsequent swelling.


Determining the cause of the phimosis is important, as this can help identify the best means of treatment. One of the most common causes of balanitis is improper penis hygiene, so men need to make sure that they regularly wash the entire penis, including underneath the foreskin. Treating thrush infections with an antifungal medication usually helps. And properly managing diabetes is important to maintain appropriate glucose levels.

In addition, doctors may prescribe steroid creams or a gentle manual stretching routine for the foreskin to help overcome the effects of phimosis.

A too-tight foreskin resulting from phimosis can cause penis pain whether the prepuce is partially retracted or not. Using a top-notch penis health crème (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil) can help to relieve this soreness while simultaneously building up the general health of the member. In order for penis skin to stretch properly, it needs to be supple and well-hydrated. A crème that contains a natural moisturizer (such as vitamin E) and a reliable emollient (such as Shea butter) is capable of creating the moisture-lock situation that promotes proper penis skin hydration. It also helps if the crème lists vitamin D among its ingredients, for vitamin D is proven to better enable cell functionality, leading to a healthier and more durable manhood.