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Foreskin Retraction.

Posted: Mon Nov 18, 2019 1:15 pm
by potatochipeater
I am circumcised but had a question on foreskin. A friend recently told my partner that her son couldn't retract his foreskin yet to expose and clean the glans. He's 6. We know that this cannot be forced because it can cause tears and other problems. I know that at birth the skin is attached firmly to the head of penis and after a few years is able to be retracted. I believe some people can retract from birth while others you can't and that there is no real reason why. I was wondering why the skin is attached firmly to the glans and doesn't retract naturally with every male from birth? What changes needs to happen within the body for it to finally detach? Does masturbation help to expose glans and retract? If someone older (an adult or teen) has issues with retraction or tightness how is it fixed?

Re: Foreskin Retraction.

Posted: Tue Nov 19, 2019 8:30 am
by Sam W
Hi Potatochipeater,

So, the attachments between the foreskin and the penis wear away gradually (much like the hymen/vaginal corona of the vulva does, just far more quickly). The pace at which they do that determines when someone is able to retract their foreskin. For 90% of people with penises, the foreskin mostly loosens and becomes moveable around age two, but this process can take five or more years for others. Sometimes, the foreskin doesn't retract completely until even later, though. Does that help clarify things?

If someone is in adulthood and finds their foreskin is still very tight, and that the tightness is causing them a lot of pain or discomfort, the first step is to talk with a healthcare provider about their options. Often, a steroid cream and gentle stretching exercises are used to loosen the foreskin up. You can read more about that here: A Foreskin Foray: Questions, Concerns, & Clarifications