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Acute Paraphimosis

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Feb 6, 2023.

Acute paraphimosis is abnormal tightness of the foreskin when it is pulled back. The foreskin is the skin that covers the head (glans) of the penis. Usually, the foreskin can be pulled back onto the penis and uncover the glans. Acute paraphimosis prevents your foreskin from being pulled back.


Return to the emergency department if:

  • You have sudden pain or swelling in your penis.
  • You lose feeling in your penis.
  • You have an open wound on your penis.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • Your signs and symptoms return or worsen.
  • You have pain during sexual activities.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.


  • Prescription pain medicine may be given. Ask your healthcare provider how to take this medicine safely. Some prescription pain medicines contain acetaminophen. Do not take other medicines that contain acetaminophen without talking to your healthcare provider. Too much acetaminophen may cause liver damage. Prescription pain medicine may cause constipation. Ask your healthcare provider how to prevent or treat constipation.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell your provider if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Treatment options

The following list of medications are in some way related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

Self care:

  • Do not have sex until your healthcare provider says it is okay. Do not have any sexual activity for 7 to 10 days, to allow the penis to heal. Sexual activity includes intercourse and masturbation. Ask when you can go back to your usual sexual activities.
  • Keep your penis clean. Clean your penis every day by removing the smegma around your glans. Ask for more information about foreskin care.
  • Gently move your foreskin back to the normal position. Every time your foreskin is pulled back, make sure it returns to its original position. The foreskin must always cover the glans. Do not force the foreskin back over the glans. Force can cause scars to form on the penis.
  • Do not use penile rings. Penile rings can cause swelling and infection.

Follow up with your doctor as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.