I remember when 20 or so, with exterme difficulty fully retracting my foreskin when flacid, but it was one hell of a struggle, and more curiosity than anything else, and I think achieved only once maybe twice in my life.
I shall definately go and look at creams for Candida: and I've noticed that there is a bit of a vicious cycle, in that if I've got a bit carried away with stretching, inevitably there is some local inflamation: which makes it worse (as everything tightens, so indeed the internal diameter of the opening apparently is reduced for instance), and indeed the steroid cream (albeit youv'e corrected me on this), seems to settle that down over night (not that that was my motivation for doing so).
I feel in my bones i'm witnessing a sort of circular chain of events: things are very tight, so it doesn't take much mechanical "handling" and things get a little... war weary, which leads to inflamation, which leads to extra tightness, which leads to increased delicasy and "prestressing" of the skin etc, and as these teeny weeny little tears over time have healed, I suspect from my reading that each time it heals, the body's natural mechanisms lead to "the belt being tightened a little" so, the openeing has gradually decreased in size.
I've noticed one sure fire way of letting things settle down, is to refrain from sex or mastabation for a week or two: but in practise a complete lack of self control means that this only very occasionally happens, when for example I've been in bed with a temperature, and have no labido. Ironic ! I am highly sexed, so I tink some of my problem is simplhy my penis has many and frequent demands placed upon it ha ha.
I'm eternaly (intellectually) curious so understanding what has and is going on interests, me, apart from i beleive helping me understand how to resolve things !
I have to admit to being quite bad at dipping in and out of your fabulous forum: life gets in the way: so although I came across it a long time ago, it's not like I've read it non stop for some years... but is very interesting when i spend an evening looking back over postings.
Since I last looked, there has been much talk of building DIY stretchers from polymorph, and i lvoe the idea. In fact yesterday, (prior to reading your very helpful replies), i ordered up some poolymorph from ebay to experiment with.
I think I can envisage making stretchers "sprung loaded" to work at several sizes, and progressing between them in time. the very act of making them as well as being helpful, i think is going to be good fun. I shall take head of the various comments about "improving" the designs people have already played with, and i suspect it has a lot going with it, compared to what I've tried historically, all of which has "had it's draw backs"-- especially that I've had to apply apparently more force, over shortish time (e..g 10 minute stints) than I can imagine can be achieved by very gentle, but prolonged strtching these sorts of devices should be capable of.
In regard to diabetes: I have never been tested, but I also doubt it is a problem for me. There is no diabetes in my family, and I have a (reasonably) healthy BMI: I am 5'8 tall, and weigh 12 stone 10 (178 lbs) eat little fast food : no sweetened fizzy drinks, and have a salad & vegetable rich diet.
I had thought that I found somewhere on the web whilst trying to work out if there was a non prescription way of proceeding re steroids in the UK: that contrary to your advice: it could still result in skin thinning after (semi) prolonged use. I must try and google to find the links I found... do you know if there are over the counter steroid creams in the UK which could be apropriate? I just know my doctor will be of the "lets have that off" persuation: he seems to think surgery is the solution for everything... and of course, I'm not going there...!
I can't beleive I typed so much, yet apparently said so little: I'm sorry, if it appears I should have been able to answer my own questions from previous posts...
I'm very excited aout the DIY stretcher, and agree making the sprung arms go towards the base of the penis, and if anything circling it at the base, seems an excellent idea: I can imagine it could then be worn confortably for very long periods.. sadly I have little time till next week, but hey, I do have the rest of my life to get this problem sorted out, there's no immediate rush
Each time I iterate with trying different stretching equipment / techniques, at worst there is no improvement, but clearly sometimes, I can move on to a better way of proceeding, so it's all good, and the polymorph material will allow me to try differnt things to really get the hang of how to do it, and "evolve" my method.
sorry this is a bit rambling, but I can't reread your questions whilst typing this.
ty once again for your helpful thoughts and questions... it really does make a difference to know other people are going through similar things, and that doctors truly care about people. ty.