Whether intact or circumcised, penis pain can be an issue for all men and can come about from a variety of causes. However, paraphimosis is a penis pain-causing condition which is, by definition, limited only to men with foreskin. Knowing about paraphimosis and what to do if it occurs is an essential part of practical penis care for intact men.

What is paraphimosis?

Many intact men are familiar with the term phimosis, which refers to a situation in which the male has difficulty retracting the foreskin back from the glans. In phimosis, the foreskin is too tight (or the glans too swollen) to allow for the easy, comfortable sliding back and forth of the foreskin. This can cause considerable penis pain in a man.

In paraphimosis, the problem is not that the foreskin cannot retract; the problem is that it has retracted successfully but cannot return to covering the glans. The foreskin becomes "trapped" behind the glans, and in that position forms a tight "grip" near the base of the glans. The tightness causes penis pain; of even greater concern, however, is that this can caught off blood flow to the glans. If this situation continues for an extended period of time, it is possible for gangrene to occur, which in the worst case may require removal of a portion of the affected area.

What causes it?

Paraphimosis is fortunately rare, occurring in approximately 1% of males aged 16 and over. Although it can occur at any age, most incidences are reported in adolescents and in elderly men. The reason for its occurrence in these population is due to its causes.

There are generally two main causes of paraphimosis. In the first, it is due to the foreskin simply not being sufficiently loosened. During puberty and adolescence, as the penis grows and erections achieve adult status, it may take time for the foreskin to loosen sufficiently. Adolescent boys masturbating vigorously may unintentionally create a slight trauma that wedges the foreskin below the glans.

In elderly men, the cause of paraphimosis tends to be related to improper handling of the penis during catheterization of the penis.

Bacterial infection, trauma to the penis and inadequate hygiene are also factors in paraphimosis development.


As indicated penis pain usually accompanies a case of paraphimosis. There is also the visual clue of the foreskin being stuck behind the glans. Redness and tenderness of the penis are also common signs, as is difficulty in urinating. In extreme cases in which blood circulation has been impeded for too long, part of the glans may turn black.

If a man believes he may have paraphimosis, he needs to promptly contact a doctor. It is important that the condition is alleviated before gangrene has a chance to set in. AS a physical examination of the penis is required, this may result in a visit to an urgent care clinic or emergency room.


The first order of business in treating paraphimosis is usually to alleviate the penis pain, which can be considerable. Next it is necessary to try to manually replace the foreskin over the glans. Since the penis may have become swollen, this may require "icing" the penis to help the swelling go down and to enable the foreskin to move more freely into place. If this does not work, the doctor may need to puncture the swollen area so that fluid can be released and the swelling diminished. Sometimes the foreskin may require a small incision to help the swelling to subside. Antibiotics are usually prescribed after treatment.

If gangrene has occurred, the doctor may need to excise the damaged tissue.

The penis pain associated with paraphimosis may require extra care; daily use of a top notch penis health crème (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil) can help with soreness. Look for quality moisturizing agents in the selected crème; she abutter and vitamin E are especially good for hydrating the skin and keeping it supple. In addition, vitamin B5 should be part of any good penis crème; this pantothenic acid aids penis cell metabolism and helps maintain healthy tissue, keeping the penis skin fit and in good order.