What is phimosis and how does it affect babies and children

What is phimosis and how does it affect babies and children

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Phimosis occurs when the glans of the baby's or child's penis is not able to be fully exposed because the skin of the foreskin covers it partially or totally. It is a fairly common problem among babies and children. However, in some cases it resolves on its own and in others it requires treatment.

For you to understand it better, we explain what is phimosis, what types of phimosis exist and how phimosis affects babies and children.

In order to fully understand what phimosis is, you must first do a brief reminder of the anatomy of the penis. It has different parts: foreskin, glans and balanopreputial groove.

1. Foreskin: It is the elastic skin that covers the penis.

2. Glans: It is the outermost part of the penis (the tip of the penis).

3. Balanopreputial groove: It is a small cleft that is between the shaft of the penis and the glans of the penis.

Phimosis happens when the skin of the foreskin partially or completely covers the glans, so that it is not totally exposed, since it is 'imprisoned', without being able to leave. Phimosis is secondary to a difficulty in retracting the skin of the foreskin, in such a way that the glans of the penis cannot fully show through.

You should know that there are two types of phimosis in babies and children:

1. Physiological phimosis: This type of phimosis appears in all male newborns. In newborns, the outer ring of the foreskin is very external, and therefore the glans cannot emerge to the outside. This type of phimosis usually resolves spontaneously over time.

2. Pathological phimosis: This phimosis does not resolve spontaneously. It can be seen in children from 8 years of age. Before this age, it tends to resolve spontaneously.

But the big question is Why does phimosis appear? What exactly causes it? Pathological phimosis, one that does not end up spontaneously resolved, can occur for different reasons. Among them:

- Short frenulum: The frenulum of the penis may be too short, which means that the foreskin cannot be retracted normally.

- Poor hygiene: Sometimes, adhesions accumulate between the balanopreputial groove and the foreskin or between the glans and the foreskin, which generates a limitation when it comes to retracting the skin of the foreskin.

- Small wounds: In some cases, some small wounds are produced in this area that, when they heal, can generate some adhesions that will make it difficult for the foreskin to retract.

An important tip for parents: A very common practice among parents is to lower the foreskin, usually coinciding with bath time, to prevent phimosis from appearing. However, this method is totally discouraged, because this maneuver can cause small wounds that in turn will generate adhesions that promote the appearance of phimosis. That is, instead of avoiding it, what we can do is make the situation worse and cause pathological phimosis.

You can read more articles similar to What is phimosis and how does it affect babies and children, in the Health on site category.

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