Physiological phimosis and maneuver to "open" the willy: what to do?

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Marie-Ange Demory
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  • 1 What is physiological phimosis
  • 2 When the newborn's phimosis resolves
  • 3 What to do if the weasel is closed
  • 4 When phimosis becomes pathological
  • 5 How to clean a children's weasel

It is called physiological phimosis and it is one of the things that creates the most confusion and, above all, that makes pediatricians bombard with questions: what if the willy is closed? Should you do the classic "maneuver" to open it or not? But is physiological phimosis a disease? Will my child have an operation? Let's try to understand more. And above all to cheer us up.

What is Physiological Phimosis

it is the natural closure of the foreskin of children, that is the part of soft skin that covers the tip of the penis. During the check-ups, the pediatrician will take care to check the health of your baby's weasel, as well as everything else of course. As always, trust him and ask for advice.

When the phimosis of the newborn resolves

The very fact that it is defined as "physiological" must reassure you. All, absolutely all boys are born with a closed willy and will remain so for some time. The scientific literature says that the "problem" (which is not a problem) is solved in 90% of cases within 3 years, in 92% within 6 and 99% within 16. 

In short, no alarm! It is absolutely normal that you do not see the glans (the tip of the penis) and that you have difficulty sliding the skin down.

What to do if the pea is closed

Here comes the discourse of the "gymnastics" of the pea to resolve the physiological phimosis of children. There are two schools of thought among pediatricians. On the one hand, there are those who believe that, from an early age, one must start practicing this maneuver to try to open the penis. On the other hand, those totally opposed: according to them, the detachment - however delicate - can cause micro-lesions which, once they heal, may not go away and make things worse.

In recent times, the supporters of the second theory are the majority: the maneuver can easily be avoided. This does not mean that your child will necessarily have to undergo surgery (the so-called circumcision) when he is older, which in any case is useless for physiological phimosis, at least when very young.

When phimosis becomes pathological

In addition to the possibility of causing pain or some bleeding to the baby, the maneuver to open the pea can transform a physiological phimosis into a pathological one. How to recognize it? Pathological phimosis is characterized by a foreskin that is inflexible and surrounded by a kind of ring of scar tissue. In this case, your pediatrician may prescribe cortisone-based ointments before surgery. If that's not enough, you have to resort to the operation.

How to clean a children's weasel

So how do you clean your pea in case of physiological phimosis? The foreskin that covers the glans also has a protective function because there is no space for dirt to accumulate. At most there may be some secretion or yellowish cells, but this does not justify opening: they will go away by themselves. Therefore, limit yourself to washing the outside of the genitals.

Text updated on 11 August 2022

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