The foreskin is the loose skin that covers and protects the glans penis and the urinary meatus. If you have been circumcised, you may not have a foreskin. Tight foreskin refers to phimosis, a normal condition in babies but consider abnormal in older children and adults where foreskin is very tight to be pulled back over the glans penis.
Foreskin of babies is usually fused to the glans and cannot be pulled back. As the child grows by around two years, foreskin begins to separate naturally. By the age of seven foreskin may be easily retractable over the glans penis. Foreskin separation in some boys may take longer than expected and this doesn’t mean there is any problem. Some boys have to wait until 15 for foreskin to be fully retracted. So, never try to force your boy’s foreskin before its ready, you may end up with injury and infection.
Being said that, it should also be kept in mind that there are several conditions that can lead to tight foreskin. Abnormally tight foreskin with symptoms of redness, pain or swelling can be the result of several skin diseases of the penis. Diseases that can cause Phimosis in adults are listed below:
balanitis xerotica obliterans
Chronic penile lymphoedema
Treatments for a Tight Foreskin
In most cases treating the cause might resolve the problem. Visiting the doctor will help in deciding if it’s just normal condition or any pathological conditions that may need immediate treatment. If the condition is due to skin disease, treating the condition might help resolve the issue. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics or antifungal if there is any infection. But, if there is scarring of the foreskin, circumcision is the only effective treatment.
Don’t try to stretch the foreskin by yourself if the skin is very tight, it may further result in tearing and scarring that can lead to permanent damage of the skin resulting in surgery.