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Phimosis is when the foreskin of an uncircumcised male becomes tight around the tip of the penis. The foreskin is so tight that it cannot be pulled back. Phimosis is most common in boys 4 years old or younger. The tip of the penis may be red, swollen, tender, or painful. Your child may not be able to urinate.



  • Antibiotics may be given to treat an infection caused by bacteria.
  • Steroid cream may help decrease swelling and discomfort.
  • Give your child's medicine as directed. Call your child's healthcare provider if you think the medicine is not working as expected. Tell him if your child is allergic to any medicine. Keep a current list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs your child takes. Include the amounts, and when, how, and why they are taken. Bring the list or the medicines in their containers to follow-up visits. Carry your child's medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your child's healthcare provider as directed:

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

Contact your child's healthcare provider if:

  • You see redness, swelling, or blisters on your child's penis.
  • You see drainage from your child's foreskin.
  • Your child has pain when he urinates.
  • You have questions or concerns about your child's condition or care.

Return to the emergency department if:

  • Your child cannot urinate.

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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.