Excessive Penis Skin

There are a couple of different reasons why men may feel they have excessive skin on the penis.  “Excessive skin” often involves the foreskin.  This can include men who have a large or long foreskin that covers and drapes off of the glans/tip in uncircumcised men or a piece of foreskin that was not removed during a circumcision (Redundant Foreskin).  However, it may also involve the penis skin merging with scrotal skin (Penoscrotal Webbing).

LARGE/LONG FORESKIN

Some men may be concerned that their foreskin is too large or long.  This may happen if the foreskin completely covers, and in some cases even drapes off, the tip of the penis.  This actually occurs in a large number of men that aren’t circumcised, especially men with a Southeast Asian background.  This can also occur to many teens as they go through adolescence.  In some cases, the foreskin may grow faster than the erectile tissues of the penis, but by the end of puberty the penis often grows into the foreskin. 

As long as the foreskin can be retracted and replaced appropriately and the foreskin isn’t problematic during sexual activity, there is no need to seek treatment.  However, for men who feel the excessive foreskin is problematic, they can have it removed through circumcision.  This is often performed after adolescence and the penis is given the chance to grow into the fast-growing foreskin.

 

REDUNDANT FORESKIN

Redundant Foreskin (often called Redundant Prepuce) occurs when circumcision does not remove enough foreskin.  In these cases, a boy or man can appear to be somewhere in between circumcised and not circumcised.  When compared to a circumcised penis, the penis with a redundant foreskin may appear to have a bulge near the neck of the penis or tag of skin that hangs onto the tip.  Treatment is not always necessary, as redundant foreskins rarely cause medical problems.  However, the cosmetic appearance may warrant a man seeking treatment, which would involve a repeated circumcision to remove the redundant skin.

 

PENIS SKIN WEBBING

Penoscrotal webbing (webbing skin between the penis and scrotum) occurs when skin from the scrotum rises up onto the penis.  This can occur as a birth defect (primary penoscrotal webbing) where the skin of the penis and scrotum merge together along the perineal raphe.  In boys born with penoscrotal webbing, it isn’t uncommon for them to have other abnormalities of the penis as well – including hypospadias (click HERE) and chordee/curvatures (click HERE).   However, it is more commonly seen when too much penile skin has been removed during circumcision (secondary penoscrotal webbing).  The removal of too much penile skin pulls scrotal skin up onto the base of the penis.[i]

In most cases, the webbing occurs as the skin on the scrotum extends up the underside of the penis along the raised raphe.   Webbing can be either simple or compound. 

 

Simple webbing involves scrotal skin attaching to the underside of the penis without hiding or bending the penis.  This can be:

 

  • Proximal (lower third of the penis shaft).  Click HERE to see an image.

  • Moderate (middle third of the penis shaft).  Click HERE to see an image.

  • Distal (upper third of the penis shaft).  Click HERE to see an image.

Compound webbing, on the other hand, can involve a deformed penis due to the webbing or in some cases making the penis look like it is almost entirely encased in the scrotum.  Click HERE to see an image. 

 

Most instances of webbing are corrected in infancy.  However, some adolescent and adult men may not have received treatment. 

The more severe types of webbing are often discovered at birth or shortly after a circumcision and corrected.  However, the webbing may become worse as the genitals grow during puberty and may not be noticeable or problematic until adulthood – sometimes not until the man becomes sexually active.[ii]  Small amounts of webbing that are proximal in nature, often pose few problems.  However, mid-shaft and upper-shaft attachments (and even some lower-shaft attachments) can cause a number of issues.  First, the tight skin can be painful during an erection, especially during intercourse.  During intercourse this webbing may prevent complete penetration into the vagina or a chain reaction movement of the testicles.  If the webbing does enter the vagina, the compression of this tight skin can cause pain during and after sex.  The webbing at the base of the penis can also cause difficulties putting on a condom and discomfort wearing a condom. 

Typically, no treatment is necessary for milder (proximal) forms of webbing that extend only up the lower shaft of the penis.  However, when treatment is warranted, a fairly simple surgical procedure can be performed to separate the skin of the scrotum and the penis.[iii][iv]  For men with webbing that causes them to have a chordee (curvature), the curvature often goes away after surgery.

Another type of webbing on the penis can occur on the underside of the glans.  The frenulum can pull the tip of the penis downwards causing pain (click HERE). 

 

[i] http://penileenlargementmd.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/scrotal-surgery.png (3/18/17)

[ii] Transl Androl Urol. 2017 Aug; 6(4): 710–721. 

[iii] http://www.healthguideinfo.com/mens-health/p113858/ (3/18/17)

[iv] http://www.laserpenoplasty.com/others/?title=penoscrotal-webbing (3/18/17)