Health A-Z

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Phimosis without any symptoms does not require treatment. This is especially true in children. If a boy does not outgrow phimosis or there are problems with urination or hygiene, treatment with certain medicated creams, such as hydrocortisone, may be effective.

In some older boys and men with phimosis, good hygiene and prompt treatment of infections may be all that is needed to prevent problems. In other men, persistent symptoms occur, and corrective surgery (circumcision) needs to be performed.

It is an emergency if paraphimosis occurs and the foreskin cannot be pushed back into its normal position. A physician may need to do an emergency procedure to create a slit in the foreskin, or perform circumcision.

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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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