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constricting ring of tissue/hour-glass look

October 3 2010 at 5:16 PM
OCR  (no login)

Hi. I've been reading extensively about this now, and feel I have a pretty good hold on most of the research, but I have a few questions I thought you guys might help me with.

First some background:
I didn't know I had a tight foreskin until I was ~21 years old (I'm 28 now) as I've always been able to retract it even when erect, just with some discomfort.
When retracting it got stuck behind the glans and constricted this part of the shaft when erect, usually causing me to lose the erection and then the foreskin would automatically pull forwards again.

When masturbating I never pulled the foreskin back this far, just massaged the glans through the skin.
I'm unable to use condoms due to the foreskin rolling up again inside the condom, thus leaving me without any effective stimulation. Even without condoms I'm usually unable to orgasm from sex alone except once in a blue moon due to the constriction/foreskin rolling up, but not going back down over the glans.

Anyways, after discovering this was not how it was supposed to work I started stretching it without really reading anything about the issue.
I can't say I had much success, but I kept at it and found more information online and adapted my methods. I even started using a plastic dongle I found which I wore inserted under the foreskin for prolonged periods.
As I read I quickly figured out I had a severly short frenulum in addition to the constricting foreskin ("relative phimosis" unless I'm mistaken). I tried stretching it unsuccessfully for a long time (~2 years) without any results at all, going so far as to rip it a few times towards the end (I was getting frustrated). I then stumbled upon a method of cutting it by tying it with a string. I did this twice as the first one didn't cut it deep enough. I have to say I had an extremely good result.
The sensitivity didn't change at all, and I have no scar tissue/lumps etc which I saw some people get.
I don't recommend doing this yourself though. It has risks if you're not sure what you're doing. I did it because I'm trained in a medically-related profession and I have at least a decent idea of what I was doing+access to the correct and sterile instruments.

But onwards with the story. The frenulum seems to have been the worst of my problems, it probably made the phimosis worse due to it pulling on the "ring" which constricts my shaft when pulling back the foreskin, thus making it seem even tighter than it is now. I can now pull my foreskin further down the shaft without the frenulum hurting, and it seems to be slightly wider due to the lessened "pull" from the frenulum.

BUT, the ring still remains in unaltered shape. Now about 7 years of on/off stretching, the last three or four of them with several stints of 5-8 weeks of stretching with 0,05%, then 0,1% betamethasone ointment (I also tried some OTC corticosteroid for a short time, but I can't recall the name).

So. The questions:
Am I correct in thinking 8 weeks continuously is the safe limit for using steroid ointments to avoid skin thinning and other issues?

Is there another or stronger steroid I can try, my doc will probably prescribe me pretty much whatever I want in this regard so that's no issue.

Is there an alternative way of applying it? I think I once found an article talking about injecting steroids directly into the relevant scar tissue (which I assume the phimotic ring structure is) to loosen it. If you have a link to this or similar science a link would be great as I can't find the one I'm referring to. Is this an option for me?

Will widening the phimotic ring stop the foreskin from automatically pulling forwards/covering the glans again? Or is this action still related to the frenulum, which exerts force, just much less so now? (it still slips forwards automatically and in 80% of cases prevents me from orgasm from intercourse alone. It's just easier now to pull it back under the glans again without too much discomfort)

Is what I have LS? When I've been looking at images it seems LS usually presents with more skin color change, whereas I only have a thin thin ring (3-4mm thick) encircling the shaft about 0.5-1cm below the ridged band (when stretched as far down as possible).

This looks like me, except my white band is thinner and a bit less pronounced:http://www.male-initiation.net/library/gallery/relative/relative.html
and this page describes pretty much how the constriction works on me:http://www.male-initiation.net/phimosis_research.html

And lastly:
I know you're against surgery no matter what, I am too for the most part, and I'm even active in a national anti-circ organization in the country I'm from. From your responses to other posts about this issue I get the distinct feeling you're hesitant to even broach the issue of surgery on the boards (which I understand in most cases as it's "giving up" and also sends the wrong message).
However I'd still love your input on the matter as you seem knowledgable about the issue at hand. In other words I'd greatly appreciate a real reply about this with your input, not just a "surgery isn't an option"-thing, as for me, surgery is now a real option.

Me and my wife are thinking of having children, which means being able to orgasm from intercourse on a regular basis would be kind of essential :P
If I elect for surgery, the most conservative and successful approach I've found seems to be lateral preputioplasty. Pretty much the same as a normal preputionplasty (dorsal slit with transverse closure), but the incisions are made laterally on both sides to even out the cosmetic result. (http://www.cirp.org/library/treatment/phimosis/south1/ )
Regarding this:
Are there other alteratives you can think of that I should consider?
Should I get some kind of test to see if it's LS before surgery?
What are the chances of re-tightening in different conservative treatment options?
Is it possible to have a minimal-type circumcision that removes the band of whitish tissue without removing the ridged band? (Again, when pulled back completely the white ring ends up about 0.5-1cm below the ridged band, but I have no clue if there are adhesions between inner/outer foreskin that makes a cut to remove this impossible, maybe you know?)

Thanks for any replies, especially if you find me a solution that works without involving strangers with scalpels near my privates.

(Premier Login jimsplacetofixthings)

Noble efforts

October 4 2010, 10:55 AM 

I'm curious if you could retract while erect and have comfortable intercourse. Have you tried this?

About the lack of progress after several months of attempts, usually this suggests the presence of another problem such as yeast or LS. Having a test for LS seems in order if only to rule it out. More easily accomplished would be treating for yeast. Any over the counter preparation should either confirm or deny a yeast infection within two or three weeks. If you've had unprotected sex, treating your wife is also in order simultaneaously.

Since natural law mandates skin expansion when tension is applied, in absence of disease, you will get results. This eliminates the need for surgery.

Your little home remedy should have allowed a greater range of motion for the frenulum. If the ridge was severed, it would have lengthened. After the surgery, did you attempt stretching it again? Stretching will also help to prevent any scar from retricting movement.

(no login)

Re: Noble efforts

October 4 2010, 11:40 AM 

In the middle of the wall of text there somewhere I explained the experience I have if I retract when erect and proceed to attempt intercourse or masturbation.

It usually stays stuck behind my glans for a while (giving some, but not a lot of, discomfort). However as an erection, especially when you're no longer 14, varies slightly throughout the act it does eventually slip forward again. How long this takes varies a bit, and of course is dependent on my level of arousal at the time.
Because of the tightness, and quite a bit of bunched up skin (I have maybe ~1cm of foreskin hanging out in front of the glans when erect), when it slips forwards covering the glans it doesn't retract by itself again from simple thrusting. This deprives me of pretty much any sensation and consequently my erection. I've tried pulling back the skin manually, but it's distracting, annoying and usually doesn't do much good. Also I've experimented with different cock-rings and such that e.g also enveloped my scrotum in an attempt to keep the skin pulled back, but so far these attempts haven't yielded anything useful in my case.

Regarding the LS-possibility, is this a test I'll have my doctor do or is there some kind of OTC test?
I'll look into having this tested asap as I know something has to be wrong due to no real visible progress. Skin stretches, and even if the ring is scar tissue I find it strange that it hasn't stretched noticeably through all this time.

I have treated myself for yeast once during this period as my then-girlfriend had a flare up (2 years ago I believe). I treated myself at the same time, but I might try an OTC treatment for this again (and make my wife do it too) just for sure. Will this "soak in" and treat possible yeast "inside" my foreskin though, if this is in fact LS or something? Is any brand better than another for this?

Like I mentioned I have no visible whiteness or color abnormalities on the outer layers of skin (nor any itching/smell etc). The thin white ring I see isn't white except when I'm pulling back/erect, thus putting pressure on it. This suggests to me that the reason it looks white has more to do with it cutting of blood flow in the area than any actual color change of the overlaying skin.

And yes, I have stretched my frenulum since the home-surgery thing, and it does now give me a much wider range of motion, but the foreskin still automatically pulls forwards again once I let it go. I could post pictures before/after if you wish?
The net-gain in length on the underside of the penis is probably around 2-4cm all in all, and it's stretchier than before. Like I stated this does ease a lot of problems (letting me pull back the foreskin quite far without resistance, like halfway down the shaft), but the ring itself hasn't changed noticeably.
I do believe the bunched up skin on the lower part of the shaft+the tight ring are the main reasons for the foreskin slipping forwards again by itself, as I can't feel any pull on the frenulum unless I really pull down. However I'm not sure at all.

(Premier Login jimsplacetofixthings)


October 4 2010, 1:23 PM 

Lotrimin is one to consider. They all have different active ingredients, and I've found with Athletes Foot, that the ones longer on the market don't seem as effective, such as Desenex.

You'll need to apply it to all surfaces. I don't believe there is a systemic effect with the topicals.

The white ring may be dues just to compression which squeezes the blood out of the area.

Sure, post some pictures so we know what you're saying.

Paul B.
(Login Paul_B.)

I have to ask

October 4 2010, 1:32 PM 

... because it is critical to this discussion, and it is the one thing that you have not explained so far:

What exactly and in detail, do you mean by "stretching"?

(no login)

Re: I have to ask

October 6 2010, 11:36 AM 

In detail:
I started out not really knowing what to do, just going by the fact that skin stretches, thus stretching it might help, so I just stretched it outwards with my fingers.

Then I got some tips from my doc for how to stretch, which look very similar to the pictures you post here. Two fingers inside the tip, pulling out to the sides+the frenulum pull (which I also do by grabbing the frenulum+glans and pulling, now that I can reach it). I also got a 0.05% betamethasone cream to use alongside.

I took a longer break after doing this for about 2 years, during which I did the frenulum tying.

Later I started using a circular plastic thing from the bottom of a small pill bottle+the stretches, and I among other things found this forum. Later I've used other items for stretching too, but it's pretty much the same idea. I also got a new script for a 0.1% betamethasone ointment.

My routine since then has, apart from a few breaks, been ointment+your recommended stretches and/or a plastic dongle.

The plastic dongles I leave in for various amounts of time, the one I use now is pretty much a perfect fit, it stretches but doesn't hurt, so I can keep it in for almost the whole day. Others I've tried have been painful or uncomfortable to my ineer foreskin etc so I could only use them for a few hours at a time.
Stretching with my fingers is pretty much a routine I do morning/evening and a few times during the day. Probably 15-20 minutes each time, but during some stints I've done it for closer to 40 minutes four times a day religiously.

I've been at it for more or less 6 years, maybe closer to 4 if you count the long break of almost a year + a few months where I haven't stretched in between. Asking how I stretch when I've been frequenting the board for at least 3 years is kind of offputting. I know how you recommend we stretch as I've seen the pictures and explanations here any number of times, and it's what I've practiced.

I'll look into the specific ointments Jim mentioned asap, it can't hurt. Also I don't have images at hand atm, but I'll see if I can post them when I get home.

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