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is when the foreskin of an uncircumcised male becomes tight around the tip of the penis. The foreskin is often so tight that it cannot be pulled back. Phimosis is most common in boys 4 years or younger. Phimosis may happen when scar tissue forms under the foreskin. Scar tissue may form after repeated infections. Often, skin infections are caused by skin irritation or not cleaning the area well.

Common symptoms include the following:

The tip of the penis may be red, swollen, tender, or painful. Your child may have trouble urinating.

Seek care immediately if:

  • Your child cannot urinate.

Contact your child's healthcare provider if:

  • Your child has a fever.
  • 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.


  • Medicines may be needed to decrease swelling and pain or to treat a bacterial infection.
  • A circumcision may be done to remove your child's foreskin.
  • Give your child's medicine as directed. Contact your child's healthcare provider if you think the medicine is not working as expected. Tell him or her 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 child's 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.

Learn more about Phimosis (Ambulatory Care)

Associated drugs

IBM Watson Micromedex

Further information

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