Pathologic phimosis is a common problem throughout the world. In Europe, Asia, South America, and Central America neonatal circumcision is not routinely performed, thus childhood phimosis is not rare. In addition, in the United States and Canada the rates of neonatal circumcision, estimated to be 60% to 90%, 5 are declining. 9 Thus, even in the United States and Canada, phimosis is a commonly faced problem. Obviously, one of the difficulties that arises when studying phimosis is the lack of a clear definition and differentiation between a pathologic phimosis and a physiologic nonretractile foreskin. 10 In our study, nonretractable and pinpoint prepuces correspond to type II and type I of the classification by Kayaba et al. 11 The cases classified as ''retractable'' phimosis might not be considered pathologic by others because of a potential for spontaneous resolution with increasing age. However, all patients included in our study were originally referred for circumcision, they all had a constrictive ring for which they had sought medical attention, and they would have been considered candidates for circumcision if topical therapy had not been offered. [CIRP note: These doctors show the common inability to distinguish between normal in childhood developmentally narrow foreskin and a pathological condition called phimosis.]
According to some accounts, phimosis prevented Louis XVI of France from impregnating his wife for the first seven years of their marriage. She was 14 and he was 15 when they married in 1770. However, the presence and nature of his genital anomaly is not considered certain, and some scholars (such as Vincent Cronin and Simone Bertiere) assert that surgical repair would have been mentioned in the records of his medical treatments if it had indeed occurred. [ citation needed ] It should be mentioned that non-retractile prepuce in adolescence is normal, common, and usually resolves with increasing maturity.