By Medically reviewed by Hello Doktor Medical Panel

Paraphimosis happens when the foreskin gets stuck in the head of the penis, being unable to cover it. This condition only develops in uncircumcised male children. People often get confused paraphimosis with phimosis. While phimosis is a normal condition to young boys, paraphimosis is an emergent condition when it blocks the blood circulation in the tip of the penis. For paraphimosis, it requires the medical intervention from doctors.

Causes of paraphimosis

The most common cause of paraphimosis is the mishandling of the foreskin, which often happens due to the fact that your health caregiver may not put the foreskin back to its proper position when doing medical procedure. Other general causes of paraphimosis include:

  • Infection;
  • Physical trauma bringing damages in the genital area;
  • Using a too strong force to pull the foreskin back;
  • Having a tighter foreskin than normal;
  • Pulling the foreskin back for a long time.

There are some specifically factors that cause paraphimosis. Carelessness when taking personal hygiene such as washing the penis can also cause paraphimosis. Moreover, penis piercing followed by pain or swelling also makes it hard for the foreskin to be returned to its normal position after being pulled back. Sex is another reason of paraphimosis. It happens when you pull your foreskin back for an extended period of time that it gets swollen and trapped behind the tip of the penis.

Treatment for paraphimosis

Depend on your age and how severe the paraphimosis is, different treatment will be provided, often in the emergency room. Some of the treatments are:

  • Applying ice and bandage to the area;
  • Using a needle to drain fluids by making some holes in the foreskin;
  • Taking hyaluronidase injection, an enzyme for swelling reduction;
  • Creating a small lit to loosen your foreskin.

After dealing with the swelling, doctors will place the foreskin to its normal position. You will have to get painkillers in advance because it causes extreme pain. Anesthetic, nerve blocking, or an oral narcotic are the common types of painkillers. After lubricating the penis and foreskin, your doctor will squeeze the head of the penis and put the foreskin on its origin place.

In severe cases, a complete circumcision or the total removal of the foreskin may be carried out. If taking this removal, you don’t have to worry about paraphimosis again.

Paraphimosis will lead dangerous complication if left untreated. The swelling can cause reduced blood flow to the penis leading to a loss of oxygen in tissues. The potential complications of paraphimosis are:

  • A severe infection
  • The damage on the head of the penis
  • The loss of the head of the penis because of gangrene or tissue death

If you notice the symptoms such as swollen and painful penis or strange colors (dark red or blue) of the penis, contact your doctor immediately. Don’t take it too easy because paraphimosis can lead to penile cancer, which threatens your life.

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Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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Review Date: April 21, 2017 | Last Modified: December 4, 2019

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