Nowadays, we are thankfully starting to see the stigmas around personally embarrassing health issues getting knocked down. More men are talking about aspects of their health they wouldn’t normally. Erectile dysfunction, testicular cancer, we’re breaking a lot of ground by raising awareness. There is one problem that needs to be talked about more often, however. We’re talking about phimosis.
What it is
It’s not as common as some other men’s health problems, but it’s common enough that we should all understand what the danger is. Many men are too embarrassed to talk about it, but perhaps by highlighting the facts, we can get more men to face it head-on. Phimosis is when the foreskin is too tight around the head of the penis. Other symptoms can include painful erections, bleeding, and regular urinary tract infections. But most men will simply realise there’s a problem when they can’t retract their foreskin around the head of the penis easily.
There are a lot of different causes for phimosis. One proposed cause includes incorrect methods of masturbation early in life that don’t involve retracting the foreskin, meaning it doesn’t gain the proper elasticity. Other causes include scar tissue from infections and other issues that make the skin tougher to pull back. Forcefully pulling or stretching the skin can lead to inflammation. Aging and even pre-existing conditions like diabetes can exacerbate problems involving the foreskin, including phimosis. There are a lot of causes, so avoiding it isn’t as simple as you might think and those most men are at some risk of it developing.
Just like there are plenty of causes, there are plenty of treatments. If phimosis gets too painful or difficult to manage, then finding where to get circumcised can eradicate the problem entirely. That’s not the only solution, of course. Many will recommend a set of gentle stretching exercises that, over time, can help your foreskin gain or regain its natural elasticity. There are also steroid creams that can be applied to the skin that can loosen it. Before you make any decisions, you should see a doctor to see what your case warrants and which treatments are still applicable to you.
Phimosis isn’t just embarrassing. It can cause pain and it can make you sexually less confident, yes. But it can also lead to some very serious issues. Paraphimosis, for example, is when tight foreskin gets trapped behind the head of the penis. Circulation gets cut off, which causes immediate danger. Phimosis makes you a lot more likely to get penile cancer, more regular urinary tract infections and even potentially gangrene, which can cause you to lose the penis. Knowing the risks, it’s very much worth setting aside any embarrassment you have to get it sorted.
It’s a condition that can not only hurt physically, but can cause a lot of emotional anguish, can stop perfectly fine men getting into relationships, and can lead to real danger. Identifying the issue and knowing the solutions are the only way we tackle it, like any other medical condition.