Foreskin development in 10 421 Chinese boys aged 0–18 years



Few studies on foreskin development and the practice of circumcision have been done in Chinese boys. This study aimed to determine the natural development process of foreskin in children.


A total of 10 421 boys aged 0 to 18 years were studied. The condition of foreskin was classified into type I (phimosis), type II (partial phimosis), type III (adhesion of prepuce), type IV (normal), and type V (circumcised). Other abnormalities of the genitalia were also determined.


The incidence of a completely retractile foreskin increased from 0% at birth to 42.26% in adolescence; however, the phimosis rate decreased with age from 99.7% to 6.81%. Other abnormalities included web penis, concealed penis, cryptorchidism, hydrocele, micropenis, inguinal hernia, and hypospadias.


Incomplete separation of foreskin is common in children. Since it is a natural phenomenon to approach the adult condition until puberty, circumcision should be performed with cautions in children.

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Correspondence to Guang-Hui Wei.

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Yang, C., Liu, X. & Wei, GH. Foreskin development in 10 421 Chinese boys aged 0–18 years. World J Pediatr 5, 312–315 (2009).

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Key words

  • abnormalities
  • circumcision
  • external genitalia
  • foreskin