Preputial mucosa

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The preputial mucosa of the penis is the epithelium of the inside of the prepuce, or foreskin. To differentiate it from the cutaneous skin of the outside of the prepuce, it is sometimes referred to as the inner mucosa. It starts at the mucocutaneous junction at the tip of the prepuce and continues to the coronal sulcus (groove behind the glans penis), where it meets the epithelium of the glans and penile shaft.[1] The preputial mucosa is devoid of hair, as is the cutaneous surface.[2] The preputial mucosa includes the ridged band and is richly endowed with Meissner's corpuscles.[3]

Fleiss et al. (1998) report the inner mucosa contains apocrine glands, which secrete cathepsin B, lysozyme, chymotrypsin, neutrophil elastase, and hormones such as androsterone. The first four substances have protective immunological functions.[4]

After circumcision, the residual mucosa is found between the circumcision scar and the glans penis. The mucosa is no longer moisturized by transudation from the foreskin and becomes desiccated and keratinized. Non-surgical foreskin restoration helps the mucosa to return to normal by dekeratinization.


Birley et al. (1993) recommended that the use of soap and excessive washing inside the foreskin be avoided.[5]

See also

External links

  • REFweb Hill, George (8 August 2004). Penile hygiene for intact (non-circumcised) males, Circumcision Reference Library. Retrieved 5 March 2022.
    Quote: The foreskin keeps the mucosal surfaces moist, emolliated, and maintains optimum health, while preventing drying, and keratinization of the mucosa. The sub-preputial moisture contains pathogen-fighting substances.


  1. REFjournal Cold CJ, Taylor JR. The prepuce. BJU Int. January 1999; 83, Suppl. 1: 34-44. PMID. DOI. Retrieved 8 July 2021.
  2. REFjournal Taylor JR, Lockwood AP, Taylor AJ. The prepuce: specialized mucosa of the penis and its loss to circumcision. Br J Urol. 1996; 77: 291-5. PMID. DOI. Retrieved 23 September 2019.
  3. REFjournal García-Mesa, Yolanda, García-Piqueras, Jorge, Cobo, Ramón, Martín-Cruces, José, Suazo, Iván, García-Suárez, Olivia, Feito, Jorge. Sensory innervation of the human male prepuce: Meissner's corpuscles predominate. Journal of Anatomy. October 2021; 239(4): 892-902. PMID. PMC. DOI. Retrieved 18 March 2022.
  4. REFjournal Fleiss P, Hodges F, Van Howe RS. Immunological functions of the human prepuce. Sex Trans Infect. October 1998; 74(5): 364-67. PMID. PMC. DOI. Retrieved 14 January 2022.
  5. REFjournal Birley HDL, Walker MM, Luzzi GA, Bell R, et al. Clinical Features and management of recurrent balanitis; association with atopy and genital washing]. Genitourin Med. October 1993; 69(5): 400-3. PMID. PMC. DOI. Retrieved 8 February 2022.