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Urology. 2000 Aug 1;56(2):307-10.

Conservative treatment of phimosis in children using a topical steroid.

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Department of Pediatric Urology, Fundacio Puigvert, Barcelona, Spain.



From 1997 through 1998, we conducted a prospective study to evaluate the long-term outcome of using topical steroids in the treatment of childhood phimosis.


Both the parents and their children were instructed to apply 0.05% betamethasone cream topically twice a day for 1 month and to retract the prepuce after the fifth day of treatment. Results were evaluated at the end of the treatment and 6 months later.


One hundred thirty-seven boys were evaluated. The median age was 5.4 years. At initial presentation, 61 boys had a phimotic but retractable prepuce, 37 had a nonretractable phimotic ring, and 39 had a pinpoint opening. Patients with a history of previous forcible foreskin retractions were considered to have secondary phimosis. By 6 months following treatment, 90% (124 children) had an easily retractable prepuce without a phimotic ring. No differences were seen in the response rate between those with primary and secondary phimosis. In all cases, the treatment was well tolerated without local or systemic side effects. All the patients with persistent or recurrent phimosis were found to be noncompliant with the suggested daily foreskin care.


Topical steroid for the treatment of phimosis is a safe, simple, and inexpensive procedure that avoids surgery and its associated risks. It is effective both in primary and in secondary phimosis. We emphasize the importance of proper and regular foreskin care and hypothesize on the mechanism of action of the steroids.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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