Causes of Phimosis

  • Physiological phimosis
  • As discussed in the beginning of the article, it is normal for children under 2 years to have a phimosis. Most boys will have a retractable foreskin by 10 years of age and 95% of boys will have a retractable foreskin at 16 years of age. It the foreskin is not causing any problems before this age it is seen as a physiological phimosis.

  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • If the patient has recurrent sexually transmitted diseases there may be scarring of the foreskin which may lead to phimosis. Repeated cases of balanoposthitis, which is inflammation and infection of the foreskin and glans, may also cause phimosis.

  • Physical manipulation
  • Attempts by parents or the boy himself to physically pull back a normal, physiological phimosis may result in the development of a pathological (harmful) phimosis. When the foreskin is manipulated in this way it may lead to the formation of scar tissue which in turn causes a pathological phimosis. Constant physical manipulation of a phimosis may also worsen it.

  • Short Frenulum
  • Sometimes a man has a phimosis as a result of a short frenulum. This condition is called frenulum breve. The frenulum is a pliable band of tissue which is found under the glans of the penis and connects the penis to the foreskin. The frenulum also helps to contract the foreskin.

  • Diabetes
  • Diabetics are more prone to develop infections, especially if their sugar levels are uncontrolled. Men with diabetes sometimes develop phimosis from repeated episodes of balanoposthisis.

  • Skin conditions
  • Any other skin condition causing inflammation and infection of the foreskin may result in phimosis. This includes skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema, lichen planus and lichen sclerosus. Psoriasis is a skin condition which causes the skin to appear red with crusty patches. Eczema of the skin has a variety of causes and is even sometimes as a result of allergies.

    urinary catheters

    Using urinary catheters can cause foreskin swelling

  • Catheterization
  • A phimosis may develop from recurrent catheterization. According to the patient’s preferences and beliefs a circumcision should be considered in patients who have to chronically catheterize themselves.

  • Unusual masturbation habits
  • Phimosis may be caused if the man has unusual and rough masturbation habits. He may rub his foreskin with force against an object which may cause scarring of the foreskin and eventually result in phimosis.