For uncircumcised males, the foreskin usually covers the head of the penis (the glans). During childhood the opening of the foreskin is too tight to pull back to expose the glans and it is also common for the foreskin to be stuck to the glans. As a guy goes through puberty, things usually loosen up so the foreskin eventually can be pulled back and forth over the head of the penis easily. You can help this process along by pulling the foreskin back until you feel a gentle stretch, holding for 5 seconds, and repeating 2-3 times per day.
If gentle stretching exercises aren’t working, or if you have any other concerns about your penis, you should talk to your healthcare provider. If the foreskin gets pulled back to expose the glans and gets stuck (i.e. you are unable to pull it down over the glans again), this is an emergency and you should seek medical help right away. This is called paraphimosis and needs to be treated immediately so you don’t cut off blood supply to the head of your penis.
Once you are able to retract your foreskin back and forth over the glans, you should do this when you take a bath or shower to wash your penis and prevent build-up under your foreskin.
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