Q. A 5-year-old patient is referred by his GP, who is concerned that the boy’s foreskin does not yet retract and that he may require circumcision. What is phimosis?
A. Phimosis is the inability to retract the prepuce. It is derived from the Greek word for ‘muzzle.’ It may be pathological or physiological. The term ‘phimosis’ does not indicate whether the condition is pathological or physiological, and therefore when it is used it is helpful to specify which applies.