Re: Hard to pull foreskin back, should I be Paranoid?
Stretching To Fix Tight Foreskin (Phimosis)
Many men come to this site seeking help for tight foreskin problems. To avoid constant repetition I have tried to write instructions in one place.
The penis has a number of structures that you should know. The head of the penis is called the glans. The foreskin is also called the prepuce. It is attached under the pee hole or meatus by a y-shaped piece of skin called the fraenulum or frenulum. The frenulum is similar in structure to the one under the tongue and has an important sexual function. The fraenular band is the tight bit at the foreskin opening that is being stretched in this case.
Phimosis may be mild or severe. Some men can retract their foreskin easily when their penis is flaccid (soft) but experience difficulty when erect. In others the opening is so tight that they can only see a tiny bit of their glans when they pull back on their foreskin.
WHY BOTHER TO STRETCH
Although some men manage to live with phimosis there are some disadvantages to having a non-retractable foreskin.
Firstly it is hard to clean and may smell. The body produces a white substance called smegma that collects under the foreskin and in the folds of female genitalia. Smegma usually does no harm but it is susceptible to infections that can cause pain and/or odours.
Secondly having sex with the foreskin forward reduces sexual sensations.
Thirdly many men with tight foreskins complain that sex without a condom is painful as the foreskin may be forced back during sex.
You can ask your doctor to prescribe Betamethasone 1% ointment. A tiny amount of this ointment can be applied to the tight part of the foreskin. It will speed up the stretching process but won’t do anything on its own, without stretching. Stretching will still work without the ointment, just more slowly.
STRETCHING TECHNIQUE ONE
If the foreskin is very tight the simplest method is to pull back on the skin (easiest with an erection) so that the opening feels tight without real pain. Hold that for a few minutes and repeat a few times. Do this a couple of times a day. Soaking in a warm bath will make the skin easier to stretch. If the opening becomes sore, or develops splits, stop and let things heal up. Going at it too fast will only slow things down in the end.
Once the opening is big enough to just fit over the rim of the glans when erect the foreskin is at risk of getting stuck behind it. If this happens paraphimosis may develop. Stretching technique two avoids this risk.
Paraphimosis occurs when the foreskin gets stuck behind the glans of an erect penis, trapping the blood that causes the erection in the glans and causing swelling of the foreskin itself. If the foreskin becomes stuck squeeze the head of the penis firmly to force the blood out and try and ease the foreskin forward. If after many tries you still can’t do this see a doctor or ER fast. This is uncommon but you should be warned.
STRETCHING TECHNIQUE TWO
You can either grab each side of the foreskin opening (with the foreskin forward) and gently pull on each side of the opening or, even better, insert the ends of two fingers, even the little fingers and pull them gently apart. Stretch the opening in this way until it feels uncomfortably stretched but not actually painful. Hold and repeat as for method one. Once again this is best done after soaking in a warm bath.
As you stretch and are able to expose more of the glans you may find that it is very sensitive or even painful to touch. You will find it less painful the more you expose and use it and gradually the over-sensitivity will lessen. A gentle way to start touching the head is by using the shower spray. Also use lube when touching the head directly.
SMEGMA BUILD UP
As you stretch and are able to expose more of the head you may discover a build up of smegma. This may even contain hard lumps that are hard to remove. Soften them with a light vegetable oil or a non-scented, oily cream such as sorbolene or vitamin E cream. The smegma and softening agent can then be removed with a mild non-scented soap followed by a thorough rinse with plain water. A number of applications over a period of time may be necessary before the build up is cleaned away. Once it is then simple rinsing with plain water every day is enough to keep most penises clean and fresh. Some men can use soap daily but others find it upsets the natural balance and can actually cause infections or irritation.
Sometimes the cause of difficulty in retracting the foreskin is not a tight foreskin opening but a short fraenulum (frenulum), also known as fraenulum breve. This can also be stretched though it is sometimes more difficult to do this. You can grab the underside of the foreskin opening and pull out away from your body until you feel the fraenulum stretching. Or if your foreskin opening is large enough you can pull back on the foreskin until you feel the fraenulum stretching. Hold and repeat as in the foreskin opening stretching methods.
If the fraenulum can’t be stretched then an alternative to circumcision is a frenuloplasty. It is a simple operation that does not remove any tissue but fixes the problem with minimal healing time.
KEEP AT IT
Keep stretching for a while once you get to the diameter of foreskin opening you want. If you stop too soon it is possible for things to tighten up again. So just keep doing the exercises for a week or two after everything is loose enough to work properly,