Health A-Z

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Phimosis is usually painless. However, a very tight foreskin may interfere with urination or sexual function. In addition, phimosis may make it difficult for a man to clean under the foreskin, which can make infection of the skin more likely.

Paraphimosis usually results in painful swelling of the foreskin and head of the penis. Severe loss of blood flow to the head of the penis may be signaled by a deep purple color, which usually indicates a medical emergency.

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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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