Penis & scrotum



Last author update: 1 February 2010
Last staff update: 15 August 2023 (update in progress)

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PubMed Search: Phimosis[TI] penis

Alcides Chaux, M.D.
Antonio L. Cubilla, M.D.
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Cite this page: Chaux A, Cubilla AL. Phimosis. website. Accessed September 21st, 2023.
Definition / general
  • Condition in which the foreskin cannot be retracted due to a small orifice
Clinical features
  • Smegma (desquamated epithelial cells, debris) may accumulate, causing secondary infections and possibly carcinoma
  • Must liberally sample foreskin to rule out other pathology
  • Most young boys who present with tight foreskins have physiologic phimosis, which will generally resolve by adolescence with proper foreskin hygiene (Can Fam Physician 2007;53:445)
Case reports
Clinical images

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Leprosy presenting as phimosis

Tight preputial orifice

Erection with phimosis

Phimotic foreskin


Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Fibrosis of lamina propria associated with nonspecific lymphocytic and lymphoplasmacytic infiltrate
  • Occasionally mucinous metaplasia in glans and foreskin
  • May be associated with underlying lichen sclerosus
  • May be associated with epithelial hyperplasia, dysplasia, penile intraepithelial neoplasia or occult early invasive carcinoma
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