Foreskin – what it is and what can be done about it
Foreskin. Half of the world’s children are born with it, yet many cultures advocate the genital cutting known as circumcision. And for those that have undergone a traumatizing circumcision, there are no do-overs, and that child will have to live their lives never knowing what it’s like to have a part of the body that they were born with — the foreskin.
What is Foreskin?
The foreskin is a fleshy sheath of skin that extends and covers the head or glans of the penis. Fully attached to the penis at birth, the foreskin over time separates from the penis and can be retracted or pulled back, often by the age of two, though sometimes it occurs later. While the foreskin may sometimes remain attached through childhood, by puberty most issues are resolved themselves.
A double-layer fold of muscle tissue, blood vessels, neurons, skin and the mucous membrane of the penis, the foreskin is responsible for protecting the head of the penis and the urinary meatus, which is the opening at the tip of the penis. Stretchable and retractable, the foreskin acts as a natural lubricant, and is embryonically similar to the clitoral hood in women.
Depending on the foreskin length, coverage of the glans in flaccid and erect states vary, and in most children and adults does not represent a health issue. In fact, most foreskin issues are rare and easily treated.