Medical Definition of Prepuce

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Prepuce: The fold of skin that covers the head of the penis. Also known as the foreskin.

Only about 1 in every 20 boys is born with a retractable foreskin. This reflects the fact that the histologic (tissue) development of the foreskin is usually not complete at birth.

The foreskin is thus not fully separable from the glans in about 96% of newborn boys. By a year of 1 year, the foreskin can be retracted in 50% of boys and by 3 years, the foreskin can be retracted in 80% to 90% of uncircumcised boys.

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Reviewed on 12/27/2018

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