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The paraphimosis is a condition that occurs in children and adults without circumcision, which generates penile pain, swelling and other symptoms that threaten the male reproductive system . In this sense, this emergency can occur frequently, however, most people do not have full knowledge of what it means.

To avoid complications and in general, prevent this situation, it is necessary to know everything about paraphimosis , its symptoms, causes and treatments; in order to prevent or treat it efficiently and effectively.

What is paraphimosis?

Paraphimosis is called a urological condition, which occurs when the foreskin is retracted behind the glans and cannot return to its normal anatomical location, causing swelling and strangulation of the penis , which is why it must be treated urgently by a specialist.

In this sense, the foreskin is understood as the retractable layer of skin that protects and covers the glans of the penis. It should be noted that a man’s foreskin or a part of it can be removed by means of a surgery known as circumcision; thus , paraphimosis occurs in uncircumcised (uncircumcised) males of any age and physical condition.

On the other hand, paraphimosis results in a more serious condition than phimosis, because the pressure exerted by the retracted foreskin not only causes pain in the penis , but can also limit the blood flow, which could cause the necrosis (death of tissue and cells) of the end of the penis.

Symptoms of paraphimosis

The first visible sign of paraphimosis is the swelling of the glans and foreskin, produced by the inability to put the latter in place. Also, pain in the penis is a common symptom of paraphimosis, caused by the pressure caused by the foreskin on the glans; In addition, there is discoloration in the penis produced by the lack of blood.

It should be noted that the symptoms of paraphimosis are similar to those of other urological diseases, which is why it is recommended to consult a doctor if any of these are observed. In this sense, other symptoms of paraphimosis are:

  • Edema (accumulation of fluid).
  • Difficulty urinating and ejaculating.
  • Fever high.
  • Pain in the scrotum.
  • Reddish or bluish discoloration at the tip of the penis.

Causes of paraphimosis

The causes that lead to paraphimosis are associated with the inflammation or swelling of the penis that hinders the normal positioning of the foreskin above the glans.It should also be noted that incorrectly performed circumcisions can increase the risk of men suffering from paraphimosis .

Taking into account the foregoing, it should be known that this condition can be caused by:


Paraphimosis is caused mainly by the tightness of the foreskin , produced by manual manipulation during sexual acts, cleaning the area, physiological needs (urine), examinations, medical practices, among others. In this sense, when the foreskin is retracted and left in this position for a long time, it causes inflammation of the glans, making it more difficult to return the foreskin to its place.

It should be noted that the reasons for leaving the foreskin retracted for long periods of time may be associated with age (the elderly and children) and also the inability to reposition the skin, for example, in people with disabilities permanent or temporary.

On the other hand, medical manipulation is also a cause of paraphimosis, since, when performing examinations, catheterization , cystoscopy, among others, doctors retract the patient’s foreskin and sometimes forget to put it in place, giving way to a possible paraphimosis .

Injuries and infections

On the other hand, injuries to the penis caused by bites, trauma, burns, sexual intercourse, among others, generate swelling that can in turn cause paraphimosis. Likewise, sexually transmitted or other infections, which have not been treated in time or with the necessary efficiency, are also the cause of paraphimosis.

Other causes

Finally, there are diseases and conditions that can cause paraphimosis, including diabetes and balanitis ; This is because the levels of glucose in the blood (in the case of diabetes) and other conditions (balanitis), cause swelling in the penis and in the glans of this, producing the appearance of paraphimosis.

It should be mentioned that phimosis is also a cause of paraphimosis, this is a urological condition characterized by strangulation of the foreskin, which can prevent it from being put back in place (paraphimosis).

Effective treatments for paraphimosis

Paraphimosis is a condition that must be treated urgently, since it can bring irremediable consequences for the patient; In this sense, the effective treatment of the same is oriented in the first place to return the foreskin to its place, later, treatments can be carried out to avoid that the injury appears again.

To reverse the paraphimosis process, the first step that must be performed is to reduce the swelling of the penis or reduce the edema that occurs due to pressure, for this, there are various techniques and procedures that vary from each other.

Once the swelling and edema have subsided, the doctor can put the foreskin back in place manually, for which, he will use his fingers and press so that the skin goes down and returns to its original anatomical location. For this procedure, lubricants and creams can be used.

Now, the exact ways to treat this condition are as follows:


The most common effective treatment for paraphimosis is manual manipulation of the area to return the foreskin to its proper place. For this, the doctor must make continuous and progressive movements in the foreskin and glans, in order to place the foreskin back in its location.

However, it is necessary to reduce the swelling of the penis and minimize the edema that forms, to be able to put the foreskin in place, to achieve this, the doctor can press the penis manually, to disperse the edema and facilitate the placing the foreskin in place.

On the other hand, ice can also help to reduce swelling, in addition, this will help calm the pain in the penis and the discomfort that occurs in the affected area, as a result of the presence of paraphimosis.

You may also be interested in:   Peyronie’s disease


On the other hand, when the swelling is very serious (normally it occurs when paraphimosis takes a long time), there are other techniques that can be used, in such a way that it is possible to apply the manual method for the treatment of paraphimosis; In this sense, medications are an option to reduce the inflammation of the penis.

Specifically hyaluronidase , this is an enzyme that is responsible for the degradation of hyaluronic acid , in this case, it helps in the dispersion of the edema fluid, thus reducing swelling and achieving an easy release of the foreskin.

Minimally invasive therapy

When the above procedures are not sufficient to decrease the inflammation of the penis, minimally invasive therapy can be implemented; This method consists of performing an external drainage of the edema, for which a hypodermic needle is used and the accumulated fluid is extracted.

Subsequently, the manual technique is applied to treat paraphimosis, which can be done more easily , because the swelling has decreased and the pain in the penis is less, therefore, the patient will have less discomfort.


Finally, there is a procedure to effectively treat paraphimosis, and also, to avoid a later appearance of the condition, is surgery or circumcision. This outpatient surgical intervention consists of cutting and removing a portion or all of the foreskin of the penis.

For this, local anesthesia is placed to prevent patients from feeling pain in the penis , then the doctor in charge will proceed to cut the skin of the foreskin and suture the area, to later bandage it until it is completely healed.

Circumcision is a highly recommended surgery, since it is very fast and its benefits are wide, including avoiding penile strangulation or also known as paraphimosis.

Paraphimosis in adults

Sometimes people think that paraphimosis is an emergency or urological situation that can only occur in children, because they tend to be less careful when handling their body. However, this problem also occurs frequently in adults and the elderly.

A common cause of paraphimosis in adults is advanced age, which produces the inability to properly manipulate your body ; causing them to not be able to return the foreskin to its place after personal hygiene, physiological needs, among others.

It is for this reason that paraphimosis in adults occurs more frequently in homes for the elderly and hospitals where they are cared for, since some doctors, nurses or responsible persons forget to put the foreskin back in its place, causing paraphimosis.

Finally, the recommendation for its avoidance in adults is to perform circumcision on time, since this surgery is quite simple . Circumcision is performed under local anesthesia to reduce pain in the penis, in addition, post-surgical care is easy to follow and does not require specialized care.

Paraphimosis in infants and children

For its part, it can also occur in uncircumcised babies and boys . In this case, the first signs are crying and discomfort resulting from pain in the penis caused by the pressure of the foreskin.

Next, it can be observed that the glans is inflamed and with a different color than usual, these symptoms are evidence of a urological problem that must be treated urgently by a specialist.

In the case of babies and children, the treating physician should apply pain relievers, lubricants, and anesthetic creams that help reduce penis pain and swelling; subsequently, the manual manipulation technique is performed to reverse this complication.

As in adults, circumcision is recommended, which will be much easier in boys, due to different reasons.

Paraphimosis and its complications

As previously mentioned, paraphimosis is considered a urological emergency and therefore must be treated in time and effectively, in order to avoid possible complications in the male reproductive system. In this sense, an ineffective or non-existent treatment can generate the following complications:

  • Damage to the tip of the penis or in its entirety.
  • Gangrene (death of organic tissues).
  • Problems ejaculating and urinating.
  • Necrosis.

How to prevent paraphimosis?

It is a treatable condition and it can also be prevented, for this, personal hygiene is of the utmost importance to avoid infections and diseases . In this sense, it is recommended to wash the area after having sex and maintain adequate intimate hygiene.

Likewise, the foreskin should not be left for long periods of time behind the glans, for which, careful attention should be paid at the time of medical examinations and at the end. Finally, circumcision is recommended to prevent paraphimosis and other conditions, especially if there is a deformity that makes paraphimosis frequent.

Differences between paraphimosis and phimosis

Phimosis and paraphimosis are similar urological conditions , however, these terms do not refer to the same meaning; First, phimosis is a problem that occurs in some children as a result of the tightness of the foreskin, which means that it cannot be retracted, causing pain in the penis and making it difficult to clean it.

In this sense, if the phimosis is not treated correctly and the foreskin is handled carelessly, it can produce paraphimosis, since the tightness of the manipulated foreskin generates scars on the glans and swelling, which later prevents it from returning to its place.

For its part, it is important to differentiate phimosis from paraphimosis, in order to know exactly the condition suffered by the patient and avoid complications . As for phimosis, it is characterized by difficulty in urinating, due to a bulge in the foreskin, likewise, children older than 3 years have an inability to retract the foreskin.

On the other hand, patients with paraphimosis present different symptoms, since the retracted foreskin produces the strangulation of the penis, as well as a dark coloration and pain in it.

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Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of ​​Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.

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