Phimosis Cream or Coconut Oil
What's Important When Choosing a Foreskin Stretching Cream
During the process of foreskin stretching, you will notice that your phimosis cream is unquestionably a significant part of the journey. Whether it is a help, or a hindrance will depend on the cream's ingredients, the frequency of application, and your own personal requirements. What is suitable for one individual, may well be unsuitable for another. Consider the comparison of person 'A' with very mild phimosis and a low level of scar tissue, compared to person 'B' with moderate phimosis and significant scar tissue. Person 'A' would expect to resolve his phimosis quickly and may not need to consider the impact of long term application of a product. Person 'B' on the other hand, would need to consider the impact of using a phimosis cream for a longer duration, and with a likely requirement to apply more frequently. Thus, there is a requirement for us to try to establish whether the product is likely to assist our phimosis stretching, or create problems.
The process of foreskin stretching involves the gradual expansion and elongation of tissue over time. When the foreskin is stretched, it triggers the production of collagen and elastin fibres, which are the building blocks of connective tissue. These fibres give the foreskin its elasticity and help it maintain its shape. As the skin stretches, the collagen and elastin fibers are rearranged and realigned to accommodate the increased tension and pressure. This causes the skin to become thinner and more pliable, allowing it to stretch further without tearing or breaking. Over time, the foreskin may also develop new blood vessels and nerve endings to support the increased tissue growth. This process helps to maintain the health and vitality of the stretched skin. However, if the foreskin is in a less than healthy state, it may not have time to adapt to the changes and may become damaged or scarred. This is where the need arises to ensure that we maintain good practices, by keeping the foreskin and glans clean, hydrated, and well nourished.
Many men with phimosis will also have a history of balanitis, and often this is due to an increased presence of candida and bacteria, due to difficulty in retracting the foreskin to appropriately clean the area. Unfortunately, this creates a double edged sword, as the balanitis will then lead to a less than optimal state for stretching.
When we consider the above, we can see that the requirement to control fungus and bacteria is essential in maintaining a foreskin which is healthy enough to stretch and adapt without compromise. If the individual is otherwise healthy, excessive fungus and bacteria are usually easy to control with over the counter products.
As we move into a new age of embracing natural products, many people will gravitate towards herbal remedies over synthetic products. We believe that both have their place and we should respect that different situations dictate different requirements.
There is some evidence to suggest that coconut oil may have antifungal properties that could be effective in treating candidiasis, a fungal infection commonly known as a yeast infection.
Coconut oil contains a unique combination of fatty acids, including caprylic acid, lauric acid, and capric acid, which have been shown to have antifungal properties. These fatty acids work by disrupting the cell membrane of the fungus, leading to its death.
Additionally, coconut oil may help boost the immune system. Some studies have also suggested that coconut oil may have anti-inflammatory properties, which could help reduce symptoms associated with candidiasis.
While more research is needed to fully understand the potential benefits of coconut oil for treating candidiasis, some have reported success using coconut oil as a natural remedy for this condition.
Coconut oil is a food and has a relatively long shelf life, but if it is not stored properly or is very old, it may become rancid and can contain harmful bacteria such as Salmonella, Staphylococcus aureus, and Clostridium botulinum. These bacteria can cause food poisoning, infections, and even botulism. It is important to store coconut oil in a cool, dry place and to discard it, if it has a rancid smell.
As we are discussing the potential benefits of coconut oil application during the period of phimosis stretching, we need to acknowledge that fungi and bacteria from the foreskin and glans will at some point be present in the oil, following the regular application of the product.
Testing for Bacteria
To perform a test, we used a typical 50ml jar of 100% organic coconut oil. This was applied to the foreskin once per day for 10 days, and stored at room temperature. We then took a sample of the product, and sent it for analysis using a culture medium (agar plate).
The results, although showing a positive aspect in that candida was minimal, did show the following particularly unpleasant bacteria, which would increase the risk of balanitis and urinary tract infections.
Candida – Minimal but present (a likely indication that coconut oil does reduce Candida as previous research suggests).
Staphylococcus aureus – Although this can be present on a healthy foreskin, passing into the body through a cut, or through the urinary tract can lead to infections.
Enterococcus faecalis – Although this is a normal and typically harmless finding in the intestines, if it passes into the urinary tract, it can often cause infection.
Escherichia coli (E.coli) – Again, this is commonly found in normal intestines, but it's presence on the glans and in the urinary tract is a frequent cause of balanitis and urinary tract infections.
Streptococcus spp. - A few variants of streptococcus were seen. These will inevitably increase the risk of infection.
If we were to unwisely ignore the above concerning findings, the feedback was otherwise positive in that the coconut oil seems to help with elasticity of the foreskin and prevent drying out, so we could assume that it should reduce the likelihood of minor skin damage during the foreskin stretching process.
To conclude, and bearing in mind the sample size, we can speculate that coconut oil may be useful in reducing candidiasis, and in promoting foreskin elasticity. However the risk of it causing bacterial infection is too significant to ignore. So, what do we do now? As we wouldn't want to lose the benefits of coconut oil, we need the phimosis cream to also include a preservative to inhibit the growth of fungi and bacteria (this has to be harmonious with the strict regulation of preservatives). Additionally, ingredients such as Aloe Vera as a natural, proven anti inflammatory, and vitamin E can also improve skin health and can create an improved foreskin stretching ability.
As a result of our study, we discourage the use of 100% coconut oil for foreskin stretching, and suggest to use a phimosis cream which promotes an optimal phimosis stretching environment, with the additional benefit of fungal and bacterial inhibition.
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Cleveland Clinic, 30th January 2023, Balanitis, Accessed on 1st August 2023, <https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/21186-balanitis#:~:text=Balanitis%20is%20pain%20and%20inflammation,Yeast%20infections%20typically%20cause%20balanitis.>
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