While circumcision remains the norm for most male children born in the United States, medical research has revealed few health-related benefits to this practice, and for many men, circumcision may actually have negative side effects. For men who do have an intact foreskin, it can seem like an extra chore to keep it clean, and they may wonder about what good it is to have this extra flap of flesh attached to the end of the penis.

However, the foreskin is more than just extra skin; it serves a number of important functions. Understanding what it does and caring for it properly, as well as nourishing it with the right combination of penis vitamins and minerals, can help guys of all ages to make the most of their foreskin and enjoy a satisfying and exhilarating sex life.

What is the foreskin?

The foreskin, also known as the “prepuce,” is a double layer of skin that covers the head, or glans, of the penis when it is flaccid. The outer layer of the foreskin is an extension of the dermal tissue covering the shaft of the penis. The inner layer, on the other hand, is a type of mucus membrane that is unique to the penis. In addition, a ridged band encircles the opening of the foreskin, tightening to protect the glans during inactivity and retracting to allow for penetration when the penis is erect. A small, connective band known as the frenulum (similar to the connective tissue under the tongue) is found at the underside of the penis.

What are the most important functions of the foreskin?

Researchers have identified a number of important functions of the prepuce; the most prominent of these are listed here:

1. To protect the infant penis from ammonia and feces in the diaper;

2. To protect the glans from friction and chafing;

3. To soften the skin of the glans with naturally-occurring emollients;

4. To serve as a lubricant during masturbation;

5. To ease penetration during intercourse;

6. To serve as a sexual stimulant due to the large number of nerve receptors underlying the erogenous skin;

7. To stimulate the female “g-spot” during intercourse.

Some common foreskin problems

Although it is important to overall penile function, the foreskin can develop a number of problems that can result in soreness, inflammation, or inability to retract the skin fully (which may lead to pain during intercourse).

• Balanatis – this infection is often seen as the result of poor hygiene; it presents as redness of the glans, inflammation, itching or burning, and/or an unpleasant-smelling, chunky discharge. Proper cleansing and the use of natural antibacterials may help to prevent this condition.

• Phimosis – When the ridged band at the end of the foreskin does not stretch properly, retraction can be difficult and painful. Many men can successfully retract their foreskin through gentle stretching and moisturizing of the foreskin.

• Paraphimosis – This condition is diagnosed when the foreskin retracts, but is then too tight to be extended over the glans. In some cases, it can be so tight that it restricts circulation to the glans, which may cause permanent damage if not treated. Medical attention is needed when this occurs.

Caring for the foreskin

To care for the foreskin properly, gentle washing with an all-natural cleanser (ordinary soaps can causing drying and cracking of the skin) is advised. Moisturizing and nourishing the foreskin with a specialized penis health formula (most health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil) that contains essential vitamins, minerals and naturally-occurring moisturizing agents can help to maintain the natural elasticity and tone of the foreskin, allowing it to protect the penis and promote optimum sensitivity and function during sex.

Author's Bio: 

For additional information on most common penis health issues, tips on improving penis sensitivity, and what to do to maintain a healthy penis, visit: http://www.penishealth101.com John Dugan is a professional writer who specializes in men's health issues and is an ongoing contributing writer to numerous online web sites.