FORESKIN, DISEASES OF.—Diseases of the foreskin are generally accompanying symptoms of other diseases, especially of inflammatory affections of the male organ. A congenital deformity of frequent occurrence is phimosis. This condition consists in an abnormal constriction of the prepuce, which makes it exceedingly difficult, if not altogether impossible, to uncover the glans penis. If the foreskin is forced back behind the glans, it frequently happens that it becomes impossible to again push it forward, in which case the constriction of the glans may give rise to (edema. If the constriction and consequent swelling of the glans is allowed to remain for a prolonged period, gangrene may result. The same unpleasant conditions arise if the phimosis is the result of an inflammatory process. In congenital phimosis it is always advisable to resort to an operation (CIRCUMCISION). This should be done in early childhood, when the small size of the parts and the absence of sexual excitement give promise of a speedier healing. This operation will avert simply and permanently a deformity which, under all conditions, would promote the occurrence of inflammations and of sexual diseases. if the operative treatment has been neglected in youth, it must he undertaken later on.
If congenital constriction has already caused inflammation, an opera tion is generally the most advisable measure. The same treatment is in dicated when the phimosis is due to inflammatory processes which fail to yield to the proper remedies. In such cases a forcible attempt to lay bare
the glans may give rise to constriction and all its consequences ; it is best, therefore, to expose the source of the inflammation in order to establish an exact knowledge of the disease, or to arrive at a more successful treatment. In all cases of inflammatory phimosis the treatment should be left to the decision of a physician. The fact should be emphasised, that the operation is always without danger, and the result favourable.
In the treatment of simple inflammation of the foreskin (a frequent result of gonorrlicea), it is generally sufficient to observe quiet, to keep the member in an elevated position, to apply cool compresses to the sac, and to irrigate it with weak, non-irritating disinfectants. For the relief of constriction of the glans, medical aid should always be sought. When the condition is of recent occurrence, a return of the foreskin to its normal place is gener ally effective ; in other cases operative interference is necessary. In all eases of the foreskin it is essential to consult a physician as soon as possible, in order that the normal function of the male organ may be preserved. It is not advisable for the patient to attempt self-treatment.