Phimosis in children: what should parents know?
Many parents raising boys are concerned about the structure of man’s dignity in a child, his physiological state, and also the hygiene of boys.Of particular concern to moms and dads is usually the word "phimosis", which they can hear from the surgeon. Let's find out what phimosis is, should it be treated, can it be avoided?
Phimosis: what is it like?
Phimosis is a narrowing of the orifice of the foreskin that does not allow exposing the head of the penis.
In medicine, two types of phimosis are distinguished:
- physiological phimosis, this condition is observed in the majority of newborn boys, with time it should pass by itself, the physiological phimosis does not need treatment;
- pathological phimosis is a disorder that requires mandatory treatment.
Physiological phimosis in newborns
By itself, physiological phimosis does not require any treatment.
In most cases, parents of boys deal with physiological phimosis.This condition is due to the fact that the children have an inborn narrowed foreskin, therefore it is impossible to completely expose the head.
The skin of the foreskin is very delicate, thin, it emits smegma - a special white lubricant with a specific odor. Smegma is voluntarily removed from the foreskin, it usually looks like this: white lumps appear between the foreskin and the head - smegmalites.
If the smegma is not removed for any reason on its own, inflammation may occur, which will cause pain when urinating. Inflammation is a reason to go with the child to the doctor. The surgeon can advise several solutions to the problem: remove inflammation with medication, washing and wait for the natural opening of the head, or perform an incision operation on the foreskin.
If the child does not develop inflammation, then the physiological phimosis itself does not require any treatment, it should pass on its own approximately at the age of puberty, if this does not happen, then the child will be diagnosed with pathological phimosis and most likely will be sent for surgery .
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Physiological or pathological: when is it worth sounding the alarm?
Doctors do not call the exact age at which physiological phimosis can pass or develop into a pathological one. Roughly - this is the age of puberty - 13-14 years. Doctors say that if the phimosis up to the age of 13-14 does not cause the child problems with urination, inflammation, then it is not necessary to treat it, it will pass by itself.
Traditionally, by the age of 6-7 the foreskin becomes mobile, the head begins to bare itself. If your child does not do this, do not worry. You can safely wait for 13-14 years, and only then contact your doctor for advice about surgery.
To eliminate the pathological phimosis, a circumcision is performed; it is safe, it can be performed at any age. Therefore, do not rush to the operation, why expose the child to excessive surgical intervention, it is better to wait, because there is a sufficiently large chance that the physiological phimosis will pass by itself. According to statistics, only 1% of boys after puberty can not expose the head of the penis.
How to avoid problems: proper hygiene of boys
Phimosis in a child can be dangerous because, due to inflammatory processes, the foreskin can grow to the head, as a result of which the natural exposure of the head becomes almost impossible, and acquired phimosis appears.
To avoid inflammation and other problems, it is necessary to rinse the outside of the child's penis under running water daily. Try to wash the baby from front to back so that the feces do not fall on the head and foreskin. You do not need to use soap every time you wash it, it dries the skin, it can cause irritation.
If you use diapers, make sure that the baby is not in the same diaper for more than six hours. When changing a diaper, try to arrange air baths for your child each time, let him lie down for 10-15 minutes naked. If it is more than 30 degrees outside, try to stop using diapers altogether so as not to overheat the sexual organ.
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Do not try to expose the head of a child’s own member, this can cause pain and lead to such a phenomenon as paraphimosis. Paraphimosis is an incarceration of the glans penis with a ring of constricted foreskin. This phenomenon occurs most often after the head of the penis has been exposed, and it is impossible to return the foreskin to its place. In such a situation, you should immediately seek medical help, if you do not provide emergency assistance, gangrene of the head may occur.
Based on the foregoing, it is worth noting that in order to avoid problems and not to encounter pathological phimosis, it is better to carry out proper hygienic procedures every day, and also not to interfere with the natural development of the child’s genitals.
If your baby is worried about the inflammation of the genital organ, if he has problems with urination, you should consult with a urologist or a pediatric surgeon who will prescribe treatment and make a decision about the need for surgery.