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What Is It?

Paraphimosis (pair-uh-fim-oh-sis) is when the foreskin of the penis remains pulled behind the head of the penis. This skin gets stuck and makes a tight ring around the shaft of the penis. The foreskin is the hood of skin that usually covers the end of the penis. This is the same skin that is removed when a male is circumcised.


The foreskin can get pulled back during sex or because of an infection. You may forget to pull the foreskin back over the end of the penis after washing. Or maybe the foreskin was left back after a catheter was put into your bladder.

Signs and Symptoms:

Paraphimosis can cause pain and swelling of the tip of the penis. You may also have trouble passing urine. The stuck foreskin can also cause the tip of the penis to turn red or blue.


You may need to use ice or a cold cloth to lessen the swelling of the penis and foreskin. Your caregiver will try to push the foreskin back over the tip of the penis. Sometimes your doctor may need to make a cut in the foreskin to allow it to slide down. You may need to be circumcised (the foreskin removed) after this problem is fixed. If you are not treated, the skin gets very swollen and may not get blood or oxygen. When this happens the skin may get sores, get infected, and die.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. To help with this plan, you must learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. You can then discuss treatment options with your caregivers. Work with them to decide what care may be used to treat you. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

Further information

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