Avoiding Foreskin Problems through Proper Care of the Uncircumcised Penis

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    Aug 24, 2014
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Avoiding Foreskin Problems through Proper Care of the Uncircumcised Penis Photo by John Dugan

The foreskin is a double layer of tissue made up of smooth muscle, mucus membranes, skin, nerves and blood vessels. It covers the penis in uncircumcised men and provides a layer of protection for the glans. Because it contains a large number of nerve cells, the foreskin can be very sensitive and provide a great deal of pleasure. On the other hand, when foreskin problems occur, they can be quite painful, and in some cases, they can cause lasting damage to the penis. By practicing appropriate penis care on a regular basis, men can avoid most of the issues described here.

1) Swelling after masturbation. Boys and men who are uncircumcised often report swelling after masturbation. This generally occurs due to an excessively tight grip and/or aggressive movements; the foreskin may remain swollen for several hours afterward and may or may not be sore to the touch. The swelling will typically recede on its own; applying a cool compress (not ice) to the area may help reduce the swelling and relieve any discomfort. Men can avoid this issue by using a personal lubricant during masturbation and easing up on the grip.

2) Smegma. This refers to the whitish, pasty substance that may accumulate underneath the foreskin. It is made up of sloughed-off dead skin cells, natural oils from the body, and other fluids. Smegma is not harmful in itself, but it does attract bacteria that can emit a very unpleasant odor; the presence of bacteria may increase the risk of inflammation in the area. Smegma should be removed during cleansing.

3) Balanitis. This inflammatory condition is characterized by a red, itchy rash, swelling of the foreskin, a whitish or yellow discharge, and discomfort or pain. Balanitis is typically caused by poor hygiene; men who do not clean well underneath the foreskin are more likely to have frequent problems with balanitis. Proper cleansing is important to maintaining overall penile health. Uncircumcised men should gently - never forcibly - roll back the foreskin to wash underneath, making sure to dry the glans carefully before replacing the sheath.

4) Phimosis. This condition is diagnosed in boys and men who are unable to retract the foreskin fully over the head of the penis. With a normal uncircumcised penis, the foreskin is fully attached to the glans at birth; the adhesions that hold it in place wear away during childhood, and most boys are able to retract the foreskin by their late teens. In men who have previously been able to roll back the foreskin, this problem is referred to as pathological phimosis; it is often caused by scarring due to frequent balanitis. Cortisone creams are often used for treating phimosis, but men should always talk to their doctor rather than attempting self-treatment.

5) Paraphimosis. When the foreskin is retracted (usually during an erection or sex) and becomes trapped behind the head, this is known as paraphimosis. It is generally caused by an injury resulting in swelling. If not treated, the swollen foreskin can cut off the blood flow to the head of the penis, which can cause tissue death. Paraphimosis should be treated as a medical emergency. Treatment involves reducing the swelling, either through application of ice packs or injection of medication. Circumcision may be necessary in some cases.

Men who develop foreskin issues like these should consult with a doctor as soon as possible for diagnosis and treatment. Most of these problems can be avoided by keeping the entire penis clean, using a condom for every sexual encounter, and exercising care when handling the foreskin. Applying a penis health crème (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil) on a daily basis can also help maintain a healthy foreskin by providing nutrient support, as well as keeping the foreskin supple, elastic and well-moisturized.

Author's Profile

Visit www.menshealthfirst.com for more information about treating common penis health problems, including soreness, redness and loss of penis sensation. John Dugan is a professional writer who specializes in men's health issues and is an ongoing contributing writer to numerous online web sites.

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