Treatment of phimosis with topical steroids and foreskin anatomy

Int Braz J Urol. Jul-Aug 2005;31(4):370-4; discussion 374. doi: 10.1590/s1677-55382005000400012.


Objectives: To correlate topical steroidal treatment of stenosed foreskin with the different degrees of glans exposure and the length of time the ointment is applied.

Materials and methods: We studied 95 patients with phimosis, divided according to the degree of foreskin retraction. Group A presented no foreskin retraction, group B presented exposure of only the urethral meatus, group C presented exposure of half of the glans, and group D presented exposure of the glans, which was incomplete because of preputial adherences to the coronal sulcus. Patients were submitted to application of 0.05% betamethasone ointment on the distal aspect of the prepuce twice daily for a minimum of 30 days and a maximum of 4 months.

Results: Of 95 patients, 10 (10.52%) abandoned the treatment and 15 patients in groups C and D were excluded from the study. Among the remaining 70 patients, only 4 patients (5.7%) in group A did not obtain adequate glans exposure after treatment. In group A (38 patients), fully retractable foreskins were obtained in 19 patients (50%) after 1 month of treatment. In group B (28 patients), fully retractable foreskins were obtained in 18 patients (64.2%) after 1 month.

Conclusions: Treatment was successful in 94.2% of patients, irrespective of the type of foreskin anatomy. The improvement may require several months of treatment. Patients with impossibility of urethral meatus exposure present around 10% treatment failure.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Betamethasone / therapeutic use*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Glucocorticoids / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Phimosis / drug therapy*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Glucocorticoids
  • Betamethasone