Phimosis Cream and Ointment With Steroids: When Is It Effective?
Using phimosis cream is one of the recommended methods prior to resorting to circumcision surgery, but only in cases of juvenile congenital phimosis. Such creams and ointments work best when a phimotic ring has not yet formed. That is, where no “loop” of inelastic cells is yet present.
The effects of a phimosis cream depend on the type of phimosis, as well as the patient’s individual response. In cases of congenital phimosis, the problem of the foreskin gliding over and covering the glans is due to a lack of skin growth. On the other hand, with acquired phimosis, a ring of inelastic cells creates a loop on the foreskin preventing the skin from moving freely. This usually occurs in adulthood after some kind of infection.
Although we often simply refer to “phimosis”, these two clinical situations are very different.
The difference between steroidal and non-steroidal cream
Steroidal phimosis cream has an anti-fibrotic and anti-inflammatory effect on the foreskin, which allows the glans to be uncovered again.
Scientific analysis suggests that the application of a steroid cream makes skin thinner, which reduces inflammation. In some ways it is this “side effect” which makes a steroidal phimosis cream useful for treating juvenile congenital phimosis. Although not for other skin diseases.
Many people believe that applying a cream to the penis, combined with foreskin exercises, will help to resolve the problem. However, this theory has been debunked by numerous research studies. When comparing treatment with a phimosis cream against a non-steroidal placebo, the results were poor. Fewer than 20% of cases saw a positive effect.
Phimosis Cream: only for juvenile congenital phimosis
Published scientific data on phimosis creams are always linked to research on juvenile congenital phimosis. It is important to emphasise this aspect, as phimosis at a young age is vastly different to that in adulthood. After all, congenital phimosis changes over time.
One such example study is that of CS Kikiros, SW Beasley and AA Woodward from the Department of General Surgery, at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Australia. Their research looked at the effects of three different types of phimosis cream. The subjects were all juveniles, so below the age of 16, with varying degrees of congenital phimosis.
The conclusion of the analysis was that local application of a steroid ointment to the foreskin resolved the juvenile congenital phimosis in over 60% of cases. But if the foreskin had a circumferential white scar, that is, a phimotic ring, it was less likely to respond to treatment. In some of the patients, the phimosis returned when they stopped using the steroid cream.
Phimosis Cream Success Factors
The success or failure of treatment with phimosis cream depends on several factors. They are as follows:
- The patient’s age (data suggests patients under the age of 16).
- The type and severity of phimosis (only on congenital phimosis, at a young age).
- Correct application of the ointment.
- Compliance with the treatment.
- The method of application.
In some cases, the foreskin may become less retractable after a few months, in which case further applications of steroid ointments are recommended. Correct serum glucose control is vital in patients with diabetes.
The data from the aforementioned study is also available in other publications, such as:
- Pless TK., Spjeldnaes N., Jorgensen TM. Topical steroid in the treatment of phimosis in children. Ugeskr Laeger, 1999.
- Jorgensen ET., Svensson A. The treatment of phimosis in boys, with a potent topical steroid (clobetasol propionate 0.05%) cream. Acta Derm Venereal, 1993.
- Golubovic Z., Milanovic D., Vukadinovic V., Rakic I. and Perovic S. The conservative treatment of phimosis in boys. Br J Urology, 1996.
- Atilla MK. et al. A non-surgical approach to the treatment of phimosis: local non-steroidal anti-inflammatory application. J of Urology, 1997.
- Van Howe RS. Cost-effective treatment of Phimosis. Paediatrics 1998.
- Rickwood Am., Walter J. Is phimosis over-diagnosed in boys? Ann R Coll Surg Engl, 1989.
So it seems that a steroid cream can help with congenital phimosis in children. But for adults?
For adults, the issue changes; and rather a lot.
Phimosis in adults: what is the right treatment?
As we have stressed all through this article, most of the research on phimosis cream is carried out on young subjects, where phimosis is often in its initial state and is mostly congenital. That is, cases where there is no phimotic ring, caused by preputial inflammation or scarring.
For adults, doctors often suggest circumcision right away. This is due to the more mature state of the penis and the different nature of phimosis in adults, which is largely acquired. But Phimostop can offer a better alternative to phimosis surgery.
At its base, Phimostop has a solid principle, the natural capacity of epidermal tissue to change as a result of ongoing progressive expansions. It also boasts a European patent, plus a Gold Medal award from the International Exhibition of Inventions. Not to mention validation by the Italian Ministry of Health.
Compared to therapy with phimosis cream or ointment, the Phimostop device delivers strong results. It frees the foreskin from the phimotic ring with no need for surgery and often heals much faster.
Phimostop acts on the inelastic cells of phimotic tissue to make them thinner. It also stimulates the creation of new elastic cells. Phimostop is the only device for treating phimosis validated by the Italian Ministry of Health as a Class 1 product.
Its ease of use allows you to wear the device during the day or night. it does not limit your daily activities, not even sports.
The tuboids allow you to consolidate the result, preventing the phimosis from returning. And what’s more, after adequate washing, you can use them again, in the rare event that it should recur.