For men and boys with a tight foreskin that can not be pulled back to uncover the head of the penis, this problem can be easily fixed by gradually stretching the foreskin over a period of weeks. Stretching the foreskin works in more than 9 out of 10 cases, making surgery to the penis, such as circumcision, unnecessary.
Keep in mind that it is normal for infants and children to have a tight foreskin that can not be retracted. There is no need to retract the foreskin to wash under it until the boy can do so comfortably himself. Most boys can retract their foreskin by puberty, but for those who can't, gradual stretching is an easy solution.
When trying to stretch your foreskin, the most important thing to realize is to do it very slowly. It will take a few weeks to a few months to acheive results, depending on how often you stretch it and how tight your foreskin is. You will want to gently place a finger or two into the opening of your foreskin and gently apply continuous pressure. Make sure you do not feel pain. Pain indicates you are causing damage to the foreskin.
Using a topical steroid cream is essential when stretching. Clinical trials have shown that gently stretching the opening of the foreskin and applying a topical steroid cream twice a day is a very effective treatment that works in over 9 out of 10 cases.
You should apply the cream to the tight part of the foreskin inside and out twice a day. It's also good to apply the cream while you stretch as this helps the medication penetrate the skin.
Betamethasone cream 0.05% is generally used and works best. It is available by prescription from a doctor in the United States, and it is available without a prescription in some countries. (Betamethasone cream should be used if at all possible, but if it is impossible for you to obtain it in your area, hydrocortisone cream 1.0% could be used instead. However, the best chance of successful treatment is with betamethasone.)
It is important to continue the stretching without skipping days. Just make sure you are not causing any pain, tearing or bleeding.
Also, it is important to never force the foreskin back over the head. If the foreskin becomes stuck behind the head while you are hard, then is called paraphimosis. If the skin gets stuck back while you are hard and you can not get the foreskin back over the head, this is a medical emergency, and you must go to an emergency room immediately.
Here is a basic summary for how to stretch your foreskin:
1) Stretch the opening every day for 15-20 minutes twice per day. The more time you spend stretching it the faster it will work.
2) Go very slowly. Stretch it firmly, but don't make it hurt. If you feel pain or have bleeding or irritation, stop for a while and use less force. If you feel pain, you're stretching it too hard.
3) Use betamethasone cream 0.1%. Apply twice a day to the tight part of the foreskin. Applying the cream while stretching works well.
4) Never force your foreskin back. You don't want it to get stuck behind the head. That is paraphimosis, and it requires immediate emergency medical attention.
5) Be patient! It may take months for you to get your foreskin stretched enough to move on and off the head easily. Even though it takes a long time to stretch, its way better than getting circumcised, which requires getting your foreskin cut off, is painful, and makes your penis less sensitive to sexual pleasure. Good luck!