Symptoms and causes

What is it?

A penis consists of a tubular part (the shaft) and the head (the glans). The head of the penis is very sensitive and is protected by a thin, stretchy fold of skin that can be slid backwards and forwards in an adult man; this is the foreskin. In babies and toddlers, the foreskin is almost always stuck to the glans of the penis. This adhesion usually resolves by itself: by the age of six this is already the case for 90% of boys.

Care of the foreskin

It is important that the foreskin is well cared for from an early age, because skin lubrication accumulates under the foreskin. This so-called smegma must be washed away regularly to prevent inflammation of the foreskin and head of the penis. Smegma can only be washed away if the foreskin can be slid backwards.

If the foreskin is still attached to the head of the penis, leave the foreskin alone. Wash only the tip of the penis like any other part of the body. When your child is approximately 3 years old, you can carefully try to push the foreskin back a little. The smegma that accumulates behind the skin fold can then be easily washed away. Do this together with him, for example, when he is taking a bath. In this way, he learns that this is just as much a regular part of being clean as brushing teeth and washing hair.


  • Atypical, sticky appearance of foreskin and glans (often in combination with a tight foreskin)
  • Difficulties with the hygienic care of the foreskin

Diagnosis and treatment

The adhesions (parts that stick) can easily be loosened.

Treatment centres and specialisations

Urology Centre

Latest publication date: 25/01/2021
Supervising author: Dr Ameye Filip