The foreskin should not be forcibly retracted if physiologic phimosis is present

Type of practice

Other health practices

Topic Area


Children are physiologically born with tight foreskin at birth which appears to be intact, flexible and scarless. Separation occurs naturally over time: it resolves within 3 years of age in 90% of children, within 6 years in 92%, within 16 years in 99%.
In case of recurrent balanoposthitis, which may cause scar tissue or to quicken separation, topical steroid ointment application may be recommended.


1. Pathologic and physiologic phimosis. Approach to the phimotic foreskin. Thomas B. McGregor MD John G. Pike MD FRCSC Michael P. Leonard MD FRCSC FAAP
last Revised: 01/13/2022
2. The penis and foreskin last revised 07/18
3. What are the treatment options for phimosis?
last revised 10/18



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