You have a tight foreskin and you’ve heard that daily stretching can help. Before you plunge in, here’s some of the common mistakes that men have made.
Stretching by pulling down
Most kids and teens will eventually pull down their foreskins by — ahem — repeated attempts. Some adults have reported success with this method. But it has some drawbacks, and there is a far better way.
- If it hasn’t worked already, it probably won’t work now. Penile tissue is too flexible to provide enough force to stretch adult skin.
- Accidentally retract too far before you are ready, and it might get it stuck. Paraphimosis can be painful, because you will then need to pinch your sensitive glans for a few minutes to reduce its size and carefully lift the foreskin back over it. Ouch!
- You probably have a short frenulum as well. Pulling backwards will then bend your meatus (the urinary opening), and then you might have problems peeing straight.
The correct way to stretch is to get one or more fingers in and pull outwards and away from the body. Flesh tunnels and other safe tools can help if you can’t fit a finger inside.
Stretching unhealthy skin
Skin naturally contracts as it heals, so it is essential that you get the skin healthy first. Healthy skin should never crack or split or get red lines. It should not smell bad, even if you have never cleaned inside.
The most common problem with foreskin is a Candida (yeast) infection, which you might not even know you have. If you have cracking skin, redness, or pain then it couldn’t hurt to treat the fungus with a cream containing clotrimazole. You will need to check the women’s section of the pharmacy to get it.
Using antibiotic creams and soaps
As a moisturizer, you may use diaper creams containing few ingredients, i.e. Zinc & Caster oil. Virgin coconut oil from the grocery store is also good.
You may have heard about creams that will help in stretching. Corticosteroids are not necessary, but can help you progress faster. Only a doctor can prescribe a corticosteroid of the proper strength. The cortisone cream that you can buy over the counter is thousands of times weaker, and will not be effective.
Letting a urologist discourage you
Urologists study many things, including cancer, kidney problems, and erectile dysfunction. Minor skin issues may be outside their field of expertise, but they know that a circumcision will work 100% of the time. Nobody who stretched ever went back to tell the doc it worked. Success cases simply never return.
Stretching is something you need to do every day for a few minutes. Doctors have a hard time getting people to do something as simple as take their pills on time. When your doctor says stretching won’t work for you, he or she is really saying that you won’t put in the effort.
Not having patience
The amount of time it will take depends on a lot of things:
- Do you have a few millimetres or a few centimetres to go? Skin cells can only grow so fast. In general, the larger opening you have, the faster progress you will make.
- Are you stretching every single day, several times? Whenever you are not stretching, the skin will slowly return back to its original shape. Break it up into several sessions each day to stay ahead.
- Can you use a passive stretching method? Supercharge your stretching with a silicone flesh tunnel or something you can leave in for several hours at a time.
As a general guideline, after two weeks of stretching every day, you should start to see some changes. Some lucky guys might be done in a month, and extreme cases may take six. In any case, you should continue stretching for a few weeks after you reach your goal to make sure the changes stick.
Stretching with surgery scheduled
When you cut into skin, it forms scar tissue and contracts. Loads of men who have had preputioplasty or partial circumcision operations end up worse than when they started. In Canada, doctors will not perform a preputioplasty. The government will not pay for one, because they have a high failure rate, and patients have to keep returning to the operating room to fix things.
If you don’t have the patience for stretching, and you cannot live with your tight foreskin, then circumcision will certainly work. Though a few regret it, many men who are circumcised for phimosis could not be happier and wish they’d done it sooner. On the other hand, getting surgery is a major life event that can take more than a year to arrange, worry about, and heal from. Stretching is easier and has fewer risks. Moreover, after researching the foreskin you may find that it has important sexual functions that would be fun to exercise.
Like a fitness program, stretching has its down days, and weeks will pass when nothing happens. Men who attempt stretching while they wait for surgery will always give up. The lesson is: don’t consult for surgery if you want to keep your foreskin.
Not being fully committed
Stretching is a lot like beginning a fitness program. Loads of men try it, then stop. You have to find your own motivation. Why are you doing this? What do you hope to get from it? Focusing on your goal will help get you through the toughest weeks when nothing seems to be happening.