You or your child has been diagnosed as having phimosis. Phimosis is a tightening (constricting) of the foreskin over the head of the penis. In an uncircumcised male, the foreskin may be so tight that it cannot be easily pulled back over the head of the penis. This is common in young boys (up to 4 years old), but may occur at any age. As long as the child can pass urine, no treatment is needed immediately. This condition should improve by itself as he gets older. It may follow infection or injury, or occur from poor cleaning under the foreskin. Your caregiver may recommend circumcision (removal of part of the foreskin). These are individual preferences which can be decided upon between you and your caregiver.


  • Do not try to force back the foreskin. This may cause scarring and make the condition worse.

  • Clean under the foreskin regularly.

  • In uncircumcised babies, the foreskin is normally tight. It usually does not start to loosen enough to pull back until the baby is at least 18 months old. Until then, treat as your caregiver directs. Later, you may gently pull back the foreskin during bathing to wash the penis.


  • There is redness, swelling, or drainage from the foreskin. These are signs of infection.

  • You or your child has pain when passing urine.

  • An unexplained oral temperature above 102° F (38.9° C) develops.


  • Your child has not passed urine in 24 hours.

  • An unexplained oral temperature above 102° F (38.9° C) develops, not controlled by medication.