Phimosis: What Are the Treatment Options Available?
Phimosis is a common condition that affects men of all ages. Though primarily associated with younger males, it’s perfectly possible for phimosis to occur at any age. When it does, it’s important to know where you stand with regard to the available treatment options.
What is Phimosis?
Phimosis is the medical term used to describe an abnormally tight foreskin. Though some cases of phimosis can be triggered by trauma, the presence of scar tissue or as part of the aging process, most simply occur for no reason at all. Some cases of phimosis occur slowly and gradually, while others become problematic much more quickly.
The good news is that in most instances, phimosis isn’t considered particularly dangerous. It can be extremely uncomfortable and even painful, though can usually be treated relatively simply. The longer a case of phimosis goes undiagnosed and unaddressed the more likely it is to cause more serious problems.
From everyday hygiene issues to infections to problems with healthy blood circulation, the more advanced cases of phimosis can become problematic with time.
How is Phimosis Treated?
There are various different treatment methods available, which your doctor will discuss with you during your consultation. Surgical intervention (circumcision) is usually seen as a last resort.
Before resorting to circumcision, your doctor may recommend one of the following phimosis treatment options:
Foreskin Stretching Exercises
It may be possible to sufficiently loosen the foreskin by way of a series of simple stretching exercises. The exact nature of which will be determined and advised upon by your doctor but can in all instances be performed at home with ease. Foreskin stretching exercises are suitable for mild to moderate cases of phimosis, though may not be appropriate for more advanced cases.
Specialist Foreskin Stretching Devices
You may also be advised to try one or more specialist foreskin stretching devices, which are positioned under the foreskin to gradually loosen it from the glans. Some foreskin stretching devices (and stretching exercises) can be even more effective when combined with over the counter medication, as recommended by your physician. Used appropriately, an effective foreskin stretching device can offer a painless and affordable alternative to surgery.
If a slightly stronger course of treatment is required, your doctor may write you a prescription for an advanced topical preparation. The most common of which betamethasone (Celestone) and triamcinolone (Aristopan) which in some cases can accelerate the loosening of the foreskin when combined with gentle stretching exercises. Antibiotics will only be prescribed when the patient also shows the signs and symptoms of an infection.
Surgical Intervention (Circumcision)
When a case of phimosis is particularly severe and/or the treatment methods outlined above have been unsuccessful, circumcision may be recommended. Though surgical intervention is always undesirable, circumcision isn’t nearly the traumatic or painful process it used to be. It’s also considered a safe surgical procedure, with next to no risk of side-effects or long-term damage to the penis.
Surgical intervention will usually be recommended only as a last resort, when all other options have proved ineffective.
The Importance of Acting Early…
In the majority of cases of phimosis, the key to simple and successful treatment lies in taking early action. Unfortunately, most patients have a tendency to wait until things become somewhat advanced and unbearably painful, before seeking medical advice.
The earlier you acknowledge a case of tight foreskin and consult with a professional, the higher the likelihood of successful treatment through simple foreskin stretching exercises and topicals. The more serious phimosis becomes, the more likely it is you’ll be advised to consider circumcision.
Article by iCONQUER