Phimosis in babies: when to perform a circumcision? Phimosis in babies: when to perform a circumcision?

Before opting for surgery as a solution to phimosis, learn more about this disease and the different action plans from which you can choose.

Phimosis is the inability to uncover the glans, due to the narrowness of the overlying skin or the inability to retract the distal foreskin over the glans penis. This condition is normal in babies because the foreskin and glans are attached at birth and in most cases it is something that is resolved on its own with the passage of time. It usually diminishes towards three years of age, although its development can vary widely. In these cases, this condition is known as physiological phimosis and it is not considered a disease as such.

However, if the phimosis remains the same over time or if severe inflammation, pain or urinary infections occur, the child will need to be treated with the help of a healthcare professional.

The Colombian Society of Urology does not recommend circumcision as a preventive measure when the physiological phimosis occurs, “except in individual cases of children under 6 months of age with a urinary tract pathology susceptible of infection,” as stated in the guidelines of this institution.

If phimosis becomes a pathology, one possibility to avoid surgery is the use of topical corticosteroids, which have a proven effectiveness in over 70% of cases, as they cause the skin to slowly retract. However, these substances should not be used arbitrarily, but rather controlled by a specialist who defines the frequency and duration of application.

If the cream does not achieve the expected results, a surgical intervention is the recommended, but ideally it should not be performed before 4 or 5 years of age, in order to avoid secondary phimosis.