Phimosis (fī-mō'sĭs, fĭ-), from the Greek phimos (φῑμός ("muzzle")), is a condition where, in men, the male foreskin cannot be fully retracted from the head of the penis
Phimosis (fī-mō'sĭs, fĭ-), from the Greek phimos (φῑμός ("muzzle")), is a condition where, in men, the male foreskin cannot be fully retracted from the head of the penis. The term may also refer to clitoral phimosis in women, whereby the clitoral hood cannot be retracted, limiting exposure of the glans clitoridis.
In the neonatal period, it is rare for the foreskin to be retractable; Huntley et al. state that "non-retractability can be considered normal for males up to and including adolescence." Rickwood, as well as other authors, has suggested that true phimosis is over-diagnosed due to failure to distinguish between normal developmental non-retractability and a pathological condition (a condition deemed a problem). Some authors use the terms "physiologic" and "pathologic" to distinguish between these types of phimosis; others use the term "non-retractile foreskin" to distinguish this developmental condition from (pathologic) phimosis.
Pathological (acquired) phimosis has several causes. Lichen sclerosus et atrophicus (thought to be the same condition as balanitis xerotica obliterans), is regarded as a common (or even the main) cause of pathological phimosis. Other causes may include: scarring caused by forcible retraction of the foreskin, and balanitis. Beauge found that patients with phimosis had masturbation practices that differed from the usual pulling down of the foreskin that mimics sexual intercourse. Some studies found phimosis to be a risk factor for urinary retention and carcinoma of the penis. Common treatments include steroid creams, Preputioplasty, manual stretching, and circumcision.