How Are Phimosis and Paraphimosis Diagnosed in Children?

Your child’s care team can usually diagnose phimosis or paraphimosis with a physical examination of your child’s penis and foreskin.

How Are Phimosis and Paraphimosis Treated in Children?

Treatment depends based on your child’s age and symptoms.

Treatment for phimosis:

In physiological phimosis with no other symptoms, your child should wait to outgrow their conditions. If this does not happen or problems with urination occurs, then topical medicated corticosteroid ointment or cream can be used.

If your child is over age 10, proper cleaning of the penis is important to limit infection. The care team may also give your child a steroid ointment or cream to put on the foreskin up to 2 times a day for 2 months. This often loosens the foreskin. The medication should be applied using steady and gentle pressure to retract the foreskin for a minute at a time.

If your child is age 10 and older and is still experiencing bulging foreskin when urinating, they may need to be circumcised (​have surgery to remove part or all of the foreskin).

Treatment for paraphimosis:

The foreskin can be pushed into its correct position without surgery. Below are tips to help your child with paraphimosis:

  1. Using lubrication, gently squeeze the tip of the penis while pulling the foreskin forward. This may bring the skin out oif its retracted state.
  2. Wrap a bandage from the tip of the penis toward the base to help to reduce swelling.

If these methods are not successful, call your child’s care team right away. They might need a circumcision or other emergency surgery. Surgical options include making a small cut in the foreskin or a partial or complete circumcision.

Phimosis and Paraphimosis Surgery Risks and Recovery

It usually takes about a week to recover from circumcision. In the meantime, allow your child to rest and limit physical activity. They can start sports, running and other forms of exercise after 1 week.

Complications (other medical issues that arise from a diagnosis or procedure) to circumcision are infrequent and include:

  • Bleeding
  • Local infection