Phimosis – Causes, symptoms, and treatment – Dr. Neeta Verma 

Are you an adult male and are having issues passing urine? It could be due to urinary infection or Phimosis. Getting yourself treated at the earliest for urinary tract infection is extremely important to save further complications like Phimosis, explains Dr. Neeta Verma – a urologist in Bhubaneshwar.

Dr. Neeta has MRCS and FRCS in urology from London, UK. She is also a General Surgeon. She has worked in London as a senior fellow in Urology for one and a half years, other than her extensive work experience in India. Phimosis affects all male infants, but it sorts itself out between the age of 2 to 6 years. Very few youngsters and adults suffer from Phimosis.

What is Phimosis?

Phimosis is a condition of the penis where; the foreskin cannot be pulled back. It may occur in children and adults who have undergone circumcision. It may appear as if the penis has rings around the tip.

Phimosis may not necessarily be problematic unless it presents itself with symptoms. This happens when Phimosis leaves the opening the size of a pinhole due to its severity.

Types of Phimoses:

Phimosis is of 2 kinds: Physiologic and Pathologic.

  • Physiologic is associated with childhood and gets resolved with age.
  • Pathologic is due to a condition called Balanitis xerotica obliterans. (BXO)

Symptoms of Phimosis

If you are suffering from Phimosis, you may find that there is

  • Redness or discoloration due to infection or irritation
  • Inflammation due to infection or irritation
  • Soreness
  • Pain while urinating
  • Pain during sexual activity.


What are the causes of Phimosis?

Pathological Phimosis is caused due to the following reasons:

    • Poor hygiene: It is the cause and effect of Phimosis. You may be unable to clean your penis due to Phimosis, resulting in infection and irritation, increasing the phimosis effect.
    • Skin Conditions like eczema, psoriasis, lichen sclerosis, and lichen planus. Lichen sclerosis is also known as penile lichen sclerosis or BXO.
  • Injuries
  • Infections, including STIs (sexually transmitted infections.)
  • Preputial adhesions or scar tissue that keeps the foreskin attached to the tip of your penis.

Diagnosis of Phimosis:

Usually, a physical examination is enough to diagnose phimoses. Still, occasionally the urologist will ask you to undergo analysis tests to determine the nature of urine infection or penis discharge.

Treatment of Phimosis:

Physiological Phimosis requires no treatment and gets resolved with age in your child.

  • Pathological Phimosis, however, does need treatment.
  • Your doctor may prescribe you some topical steroid application.
  • After 2 weeks of using steroid cream, the doctor suggests pulling down the skin gradually, only as much as possible. Use the cream on the parts that get exposed after stretching the skin.
  • The next step in the line of treatment will be surgery if there is too much discomfort.
  • The doctor might make a small cut in the skin so that you can pull it back.
  • If you have scar tissue, your doctor will likely recommend circumcision. The foreskin is cut off entirely in this procedure, freeing the glans.
  • If BXO is the cause of your Phimosis, your doctor will definitely suggest circumcision if the steroidal topical creams don’t work.
  • Phimosis may cause significant discomfort during sexual activity, and if BXO is the cause, then you are at risk of getting cancer of the penis.

Risks associated with the surgery:

Like any surgery, the risks associated are bleeding, infection and pain. Another chance is having too long foreskin or too short.

Recovery time post Circumcision:

You will fully recover after 10 days of surgery if there are no complications.


Dr. Neeta Verma, a urologist in Bhubaneshwar, says that Phimosis in a newborn is unavoidable, but grown people can prevent it by following good hygiene practices. You should get yourself checked and treated in time to avoid further infection and complications like cancer of the penis.

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