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How come foreskin doesn't grow back?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
If you think about it, when you get a cut, bruise, scrape, whatever, the skin will eventually heal and grow back.

But how come foreskin doesn't grow back?
post #2 of 10
It isn't the upper layer of the dermis. It's an actual organ, a body part. If you cut your eyelids off, they would not grow back. Neither would your ears. If you cut enough skin off, your body usually can't grow it back (hence the need for skin grafting in some patients).

It has a complex network of nerves, bands and blood vessels that are also stunted.
post #3 of 10
to every thing claddaghmom said. Eyelids is a very good comparison.
post #4 of 10
If we were sea stars we could. Cut off a sea star's arm and it grows back, but cut off a human's arm and it doesn't. Circumcision isn't just a simple cut that heals, it is a complete amputation of a body part.
post #5 of 10
If you scrape your finger, your body will heal the open wound. . But if a big enough chunk comes off your finger, the wound will close, and a portion will still be missing. Same for a circ wound. It does eventually close, but there is a chunk that just can't grow back.
post #6 of 10
If you push ample breasts together you can form a cleavage. Now imagine all the skin that's touching was excised and the breasts were pushed together and stitched to form a mono-boob. What's going to regrow?

With the penis it's comparable. A large section of the normal skin tube is excised and then bypassed in the subsequent healing process.

HOWEVER, it is notable that European scientists are making great strides in re-growing body parts. To re-grow a foreskin, the scar line would have to be re-opened and cut back to leave no scar tissue, and then a foreskin-shaped biodegradable scaffold would have to be placed, and then drizzled with a slurry called "extra-cellular matrix." The raw cut edges interact with the slurry and start to grow apropriate cell types to re-create the missing part. The inner and outer faces of the new skin might need to be surgically joined.

This idea has been used to grow simpler structures in people and complex ones in animals. We can't ask the animals whether they like the sensatin of having the new parts.
post #7 of 10
This is why I want to scream when people say about circumcision "What's the big deal? It's just a piece of skin."

If it were just a piece of skin, it would grow back.
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Good deal. (In terms of me understanding it.)

Being an actual organ (as opposed to a piece of skin) would also explain why if it gets a cut (as in an "owie" and not amputation) the cut would grow back.
post #9 of 10
If it were just a piece of skin, it would grow back.
Thats a very good point.

It could be used in response to people who say its just a piece of skin.
post #10 of 10
Pieces of skin don't always grow back either though, its not a good comparison. If you cut off a skin tag for instance, it normally wont grow back.

The type of wound determines the healing. If you merely cut the foreskin, like a dorsal slit, the wound could heal back together. By circumcising the foreskin you leave only one wound edge- there is nothing for it to heal back too, because you have cut off the foreskin. Say you sliced off the very tip of your finger- just the skin, but a fairly large chunk. If you did not have the chunk reattached, chances are you would heal without a finger tip. Same if you cut off part of an ear lobe- the body does not simply regrow parts, it heals over wounds- which does NOT include regenerating any tissue beyond the wounds open edges.
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