Hi, can someone tell me if my foreskin (I'm uncircumcised) should pull ALL the way back revealing the whole of my penises head (the bell shaped end part of my penis). I am worried that there is something wrong with the penis. I can pull it back a bit so that a bit shows but it won go fully back. Does it loosen with age?
Also, I have a really itchy red spot under my Pubic hairs... Any suggestions??
Hey bud, yep...that foreskin should completely retract over the head of your penis and down the shaft. For some of us uncut guys that happens when we reach purberty, for others it may need some stretching and work so that it more easily moves up and down the shaft. I'd suggest that you look around on this thread, there are lots of posts dealing with just what you're asking about. Let us know if you can't find the help you need and we'll work you through it. Don't worry about this at all, its common!
As to the itching, some of that is common as well, is there a rash? You may try using a bit of powder after each shower, sometimes that will help with the itching we experience. If its a red spot or rash, you may try a bit of lotion that helps with such things, just be careful not to get any on your penis as it may be a bit too strong for that part of your body.
Thanks for your help you two.. I've tried the stretching thing and I can get the foreskin back fully, I don't like it very much lol it's cos it is unusual to me - It's never done it before. Am I worrying over nothing though? Will it loosen on it's own over time? I'm 14 now.
As you get older the foreskin will become more pliable and easy to move. However, you need to keep working with it some to make sure that it moves easily up and down the shaft of your penis. You also need to retract that foreskin everyday and clean under there and around the head of your penis to prevent the buildup of smegma. As to that patch of red and itching, I suspect that is just a heat rash or irritation due to sweating. You can try a bit of lotion to see if that helps dry it up and prevent the itching. You can also try using a bit of powder after each bath/shower, that usually helps keep things dry down there.
Hey bud, yep...that foreskin should completely retract over the head of your penis and down the shaft. For some of us uncut guys that happens when we reach purberty, for others it may need some stretching and work so that it more easily moves up and down the shaft.
I've been reading a few hundred posts here over the last couple of days and this seems to be common advice, without dissent. I am going to dissent.
I am uncut, and while my foreskin happens to be completely retractible, I have friends (grown men) who have never seen their glans in their life and have no desire to do so. After talking with them about it, talking to some doctors, and doing a lot of research, I have to conclude that there is absolutely nothing wrong with this. These guys are squeaky clean in their hygiene and experience no difficulties at all with their anatomy. Sex for them is a pleasure.
The matter is different for boys and men who experience pain or discomfort with erection, masturbation or penetration. But if one has a long enough foreskin and it feels good to masturbate or have intercourse with the skin completely over the head -- then go for it! The real stimulation of the penis comes from the inner foreskin, and the glans is shaped the way it is to provide stimulation of the foreskin as it moves back and forth over the corona. This can occur whether the movement is slight or whether it involves full retraction.
The key to hygiene is flushing out under the foreskin. For those who can retract easily, this might mean rinsing with fresh water in the shower (never pull your foreskin back until you have finished soaping and thoroughly rinsing the rest of your body, then use only clean, warm water on your cockhead and inner foreskin. Never use a detergent, like soap, on mucosal tissue.
Men who cannot retract their foreskins, but have no discomfort, can easily clean under the foreskin by briefly pinching shut when they urinate, letting the foreskin balloon a little, and then letting go (best to do this at a urinal or sink). Alternatively, you can hold the penis upward and open (by the foreskin) like a little bag in the shower, let water in, and then pinch the foreskin shut and shake. My friends use both methods and, as I said before, they are all scrupulously clean.
Stretching can be an interesting endeavor for some men who are determined to alter the characteristics of their foreskin, for whatever reason. But it can also lead to dermatologic problems, such as tearing, if not done carefully. Unless you have a pressing need to loosen your foreskin, such as the case with a very large glans and a tight, uncomfortable foreskin, then I'd suggest just leaving your penis alone. There is nothing wrong, for most men, with going from birth to grave without ever exposing the glans. It is more a cultural imperative of our times than a physiologic one.
For those dozens of men who have written wondering whether they are normal because their foreskin does not retract fully or even partly on erection -- the answer is absolutely yes. You are normal. Do not be made to feel bad, abnormal, or late in your development by those who insist you should be stretching and trying to achieve a "bared" glans.
Guys with retracting and nonretracting foreskins are equally normal. The issue is whether you are physically comfortable with your erections and with your hygiene.
soap causes irritation, and even infections (balanitis), in some men. soaps can burn the meatus (peehole opening). other men can use them with no problem.
anybody can be perfectly clean by using water.
Frank, the problem is not so much soap in your peehole, other than it stinging somewhat. The peehole, by the way, is medically called the meatus (me-AY-tus) and is often shaped differently in uncut guys and cut guys. I'll explain why in a moment. Inside the meatus is your urethra, which is the tube of mucous membrane through which your urine and semen come out. That's the bit that typically stings if you inadvertently get soap in it, but there's generally no damage done.
The problem with washing the glans and inner foreskin with soap, especially if you're not circumcised, is twofold: one, you have beneficial bacteria (flora) that normally live in the genital area, especially on the mucous membrane tissue (the shiny tissue). Two, that area should remain moist, covered almost all the time so the helpful flora can thrive and do their job of protecting from viral and bad bacterial pathogens. Dry mucous membrane tissue has been shown to have very little protective effect, if any; on the other hand, moist mucous membrane tissue has been shown to be a highly effective barrier against disease. This is why all the major potential entry points for germs on our bodies remain moist: mouth, eyes, anus, vagina and penis/foreskin/urethra. [The bogus studies theorizing that HIV binds to the foreskin, thus making intact men more prone to catching it, were all done on dead, severed foreskin tissue in the lab. Live foreskin tissue, with lysozymes, has the reverse effect of keeping viral infections at bay.]
Washing with soap, which is a detergent, tends to dry out this tissue and wash away the beneficial bacteria. Remember: live, healthy bacteria typically do not smell. Dead, decaying bacteria to. That's why it's important to rinse your foreskin and glans with fresh, clean, warm water every day or two. The good, live bacteria will cling to the mucous membrane surface if not washed off with soap.
Second, when mucous membrane tissue gets dried out, it changes character and becomes much more prone to fungal and yeast infections. Over time, your inner foreskin can become more dry, less elastic, and develop small cracks. The cracks may be tiny "spider" cracks or larger. These cracks can become inflamed and even infected. Believe me, a yeast infection of the foreskin is no fun. I've had one (some men have had quite a few) and it takes careful care to get that region back to normal again.
By the way, I should add here that this is also a reason that intact men should avoid most commercial lubricants, especially those that contain any petroleum-based ingredients. I've known circumcised men who can masturbate with Vaseline Intensive Care lotion, but that is horrible on an intact penis (and precisely what inadvertently led to my yeast infection and cracking).
The drying and cracking is very significant in the foreskin area because the foreskin actually has quite a bit of muscle tissue; that's what gives it its elasticity and enables it to close snugly around a much larger glans (penis head), yet let it through when necessary. This is most pronounced in babies and little boys... their foreskins open and close like a camera lens when they pee, letting urine through and then shutting fairly tight to keep pathogens out of the urinary tract.
The foreskin is unique on all the body... there is nowhere else that the skin ends in an open, double fold of muscle tissue. It's genius engineering on nature's part.
The reason that the meatus (peehole or peeslit) is different in uncut and cut guys has to do with whether it stays covered, especially during infancy and childhood. In normal boys, the meatus is like two full, little lips that close tightly together to keep the urethra sealed. These lips get their blood supply mostly from the frenulum, the little band under the head that holds the foreskin forward. During infant circumcision the frenulum is often damaged or removed completely, affecting proper blood flow to the meatus. Also, in circumcised boys the meatus is always exposed, so it rubs against the diaper (nappy) and also gets repeatedly inflamed by diaper ammonia, feces, and other irritants. Over time, most circumcised boys lose the lips and end up with just an open hole. This hole is typically smaller than the maximal opening of the normal lips; the narrowing is called "stenosis". About 50-75% of circumcised men have meatal stenosis, but it's almost unknown among uncut guys. Meatal stenosis can be bad because it somewhat restricts the flow of uring when you pee. In children, this can cause some of the urine to flow backward toward the bladder (reflux) and contribute to urinary tract infections. It's true that you can often tell whether the guy peeing next to you is uncut or not without even looking -- circumcised men, on average, have a slightly weaker stream (because of the stenosis), whereas most uncut guys have a powerful (and therefore loud when it hits the water) stream through their larger meatus.
You can see that it's important to keep the inner foreskin and penis head clean, yet moist. Soap is a surfactant (stuff attaches to it and gets washed away) and detergent, so it's not the ideal product to use. Your penis (and anus, and inner eyelids and inside your mouth) has very different characteristics from your hands or your face, where soap (ideally a moisturising soap) can be safely used.
Just remember to save rinsing out your foreskin and glans for the last step in your shower, using only fresh water, and you should have no problems.