Normal Foreskin Retraction

My son was not circumcised. He’s now 2 1/2 years old, and the foreskin is still very tight and will not go back. I was told not to pull it back when he was a baby as it would loosen on its own by the time he’s 2 – 3 years old. But it isn’t loosening at all. Is this normal? Should I be concerned about it?

Normal Foreskin Retraction

Dr. Greene’s Answer:

Many moms share your concern. In uncircumcised boys, the foreskin begins firmly attached to the glans, but over time, the attachments are broken (mostly by the stretching resulting from repeated normal erections). In most boys, the foreskin is loose and mobile by age 2, but this normal process can sometimes take five or more years. Even if you know other boys your son’s age whose foreskin is already loose, you can be reassured that your son’s timetable is completely normal. It is not a reason for concern. When the foreskin has separated from the glans, the foreskin should retract quite easily. Trying to pull back the foreskin before it is really ready is unnecessary. Beyond that, it can lead to pain, scarring and adhesions.

Dr. Alan Greene

Dr. Greene is the founder of (cited by the AMA as “the pioneer physician Web site”), a practicing pediatrician, father of four, & author of Raising Baby Green & Feeding Baby Green. He appears frequently in the media including such venues as the The New York Times, the TODAY Show, Good Morning America, & the Dr. Oz Show.

  1. Sylvia RN MSN NP-C

    Actually the average age of retraction is 10 years old. My intact son is 3.5 and still not close to being able to retract himself. Again, ONLY the child should be the one to retract. Otherwise you risk micro-tears, scarring, and infection!


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