I never had any serious problems throughout my Restoration. Maybe that's because I was super cautious and maybe it's because I was lucky. Whatever the reason I am still very much aware that serious damage can be caused through using either the Retainer or the Restorer. It is also because of the possible dangers posed that I strongly urge people not to try this. The potential danger is one of the reasons I have made my experience of foreskin restoration available at this site. Maybe after reading this people won't need to go ahead and injure themselves.
One point about my warning signs - I'm Caucasian and it's easy to see changes in my skin colour. I relied heavily upon skin colour changes to give me an indication of problems. If I had much darker skin maybe I would have placed a greater emphasis on some of the other signs.
Please note that I am not a Doctor and the First Aid information on this page is simply that which I prepared for myself during my Restoration. It is not intended to be used by others and may well contain some inaccuracies, fallacies or misinformation, please don't use it for any of your own medial problems - seek professional medial advice.
Extremely Dangerous sign
Here is the list of instructions I made for myself in case I ever had a Restorer or Retainer incident:
The warning signs and symptoms can come about a number of ways and I never overlooked any of them. One of the main dangers I faced with my style of Restoration and Retention was restricting the blood flow to my newly developing foreskin. Both my Restorer and my Retainer pose blood flow risks.
Even taping was my key to safe Restoring
With the Restorer tape is used to hold the foreskin firmly in place. If the tape is too loose the Restorer and foreskin will come apart easily. If the tape is too tight blood flow will be restricted. Tape tension should be even all of the way around. If not it will either come away or pinch at the points it is either too loose or too tight respectively. It is possible to tape so unevenly that in one place the foreskin and Restorer come away from each other and at another point the foreskin may be pinched and in danger of harm. Taping skill comes with experience and was the single most difficult thing I had to master.
Using larger sized Retainers was my key to safe Retaining
With the Retainer the foreskin passes through a narrow circumference. If it is too narrow blood flow to the foreskin beyond the point of the Retainer will be restricted. If the Retainer is too wide it will come off easily and become a nuisance.
Issues that arise from restricting the blood flow
Restricting blood flow to my foreskin would have caused a number of symptoms to occur depending on the severity of the restriction and the length of time normal blood flow is interrupted. Colour changes would have been an early warning sign, especially easy to see with my skin colour. Maybe my skin changes colour quickly in these situations as another time this happens is when I'm flossing. If the floss ends up being wrapped around my fingers as I go for the hard to reach places down the back I notice that the ends of my fingers, past the the point where the floss is wrapped start to darken in colour and soon take on a dark red colour.
As soon as I unwrap the floss from the finger it only takes a few seconds for it to return to my normal colour. What's happening is the blood flow is restricted and my finger, which of course is a living thing, uses up the oxygen in the blood that's already there. Blood changes colour depending on how much oxygen it is carrying - it's bright red when it has lots of oxygen on board and goes a dark red (almost liver) colour when it's unloaded most of its oxygen.
What I'm able to see in my floss-wrapped finger is that the blood in there is having most of its oxygen used up and is getting darker as a result. Fortunately I change hand positions, get a fresh piece of floss, move along the same piece to find an unused portion all of which allow the blood supply back into my finger. So when it starts to go dark red it has only been starved of fresh blood for maybe 30 seconds max. No damage is happening to my finger in that time.
Now imagine if I left the floss wrapped around my finger, completely stopping any fresh blood in or any used blood out. First the colour would start to darken and after a while it would be a very dark red almost blue colour as the cells in my finger fought for every last oxygen molecule that could get. Oxygen is essential for metabolism to take place, no oxygen means that the cells couldn't operate and would start to shut down. Metabolism creates heat so heat production from the cells would stop. The cells' contribution to local temperatures is small compared to the contribution from the blood supply - but with that gone there's no heating at all and temperatures start to plummet. At this point time is running out. Cells are going to start dying if they don't get oxygen soon.
The cold temperatures are in fact helping the situation as the metabolic rate is temperature dependent, lower temperatures means lower demand for resources and right now the cells will be glad of anything that prolongs their lives waiting for the resumption of blood supply. There is also a build up of toxins in the area which would have normally been taken away for recycling or waste processing by the outward blood supply. The whole environment in the finger is becoming hostile to the living cells.
So who are the survivors are who are the weakest? Some cell types are more susceptible to damage and death in this situation than others. And as you might suspect some of the most highly tuned and sophisticate ones are ones who don't handle changes in their environment too well. Near the top of the list are nerve cells. They only have a couple of minutes operating time with their oxygen supply cut off. That's why numbness is one of my early signs of poor blood flow. And as for the survivors, well they are cells like the ones in the hair follicles and finger nails. They can keep on going for many hours (sometimes a day or so) in these situations.
The other tissues in my finger like muscle, connective tissues and bone would eventually die along with the skin. If I left the floss on there for more than an a few hours I would expect to loose the finger. If I never took the floss off my body would loose the finger for me. First sealing off at the point of the floss and preparing to grow new skin across the end of the stump. There are lots of internal details to be dealt with but it would cope. The dead part goes completely black which is one sign I had on my checklist but knew I would never face that as it would take many hours of complete blood deprivation for that to happen and I always checked things every hour or so.
The process I just described with leaving the dental floss wrapped around my finger for a couple of weeks is a process (not using dental floss, but specially manufactured rubber rings) until recently used on the tails of lambs. For animal husbandry purposes farmers like to remove almost all of a sheep's tail. So they used to apply a special rubber ring to a new-born lamb's tail and in about two weeks the end of the tail would drop off all by itself leaving a stump which already had new skin growing over it.
Back to my foreskin. Completely cutting off the blood supply for a number of hours could, in the worst case situation, lead to the death of many of the cells in the area. Unlike the lamb's tail I would be removing the restriction and attempting to revive it by massaging new blood in and old blood out. Another difference to the lamb's tail is that my blood loss would only be to a small area of the foreskin and not the whole thing.
I could expect that the nerves to the affected area would be dead and as they are extremely slow growing I wouldn't expect a return of sensation to the area for several weeks, if at all. Any dead cells would need to be removed by my body. So depending on exactly how much work needed to be done there would be a major rebuilding exercise in operation for a week or maybe longer if new blood vessels were also needed. That would mean a red part on my foreskin, sore around the edges where the living nerves are, for a week or more reminding me how silly I had been to allow it to get so far out of control.
More blood flow issues
Other blood flow issues I could have faced was like times when the blood supply is only partially restricted - maybe stopping only the blood going in or only the blood going out. There is also my lymphatic system which is like my body's drainage system which collects fluid and waste from around my cells and ends up recycling it. If ever one of my lymph ducts becomes restricted fluid can build up (like a blocked drain). If lots collects near the surface it can form a bubble (maybe more like a blister) under the skin and if it's deeper down puffiness may result. Fluid build up is known as oedema.
Another possible situation where fluid could have build up under my skin is if my blood flow out (venus) is restricted but my flow in (arterial) is still OK. Local pressure levels on the venus side would be higher than normal restricting movement into the venus capillary. If I also had restricted lymphatic drainage I could expect pooling (oedema) with a puffiness or bubbles eventually becoming obvious.
Once the restrictions had been removed and I resumed normal arterial and venus blood flows, along with normal lymphatic drainage (assuming I had no cell death due to oxygen debt or toxin loading) I would expect the whole area to eventually return to normal. Some mornings I wake up with puffy eyes (yeah sexy...) and it takes almost an hour for them to return to normal, I took that as an indication that if ever I got oedema (either as foreskin puffiness or as subcutaneous bubbles) that it would take a while to drain away and return to normal.
Allergy or sensitivity
Allergy to latex or the adhesive used on the tape is possible cause for symptoms like rash, irritation,burning sensation, itching, red colour . I had a burning sensation with a red skin colour on one occasion when trying out a new type of Retainer. My reaction occurred within about 10 minutes of putting the new Retainer on. I removed it immediately and washed my skin to remove any residues of the latex. I rested the foreskin for 24 hours and returned to using my original latex Retainers with no problem.
Bleeding occurs when the skin becomes broken. Severe irritation accompanied abrasion is one possibility. Another possibility is by removing the tape too quickly and tearing the skin. If the skin does become broken Restoration can not be commenced until the lesion has completely healed. Taping onto the skin too soon after the injury will just cause it to happen again. I would have taken a break of around two weeks in this situation.
I was mindful that had I ever developed a lesion on my foreskin there may have been ways to continue Restoring so long as I could avoid taping directly onto the lesion or stretching the lesion (which would cause it to widen and reopen). In short a lesion anywhere between my scar line and my sulcus would not have prevented me concentrating the stretch on my shaft skin. For an explanation of how I would do this read the differential stretching section on the "Advanced issues" page.
I would consider it essential to heal the lesion as quickly as possible and would only have resumed Restoration in any form if it was not going to prolong my recovery.
Black skin (deathly black - not just purple) would result from complete loss of blood flow for a extended period - maybe a day or more. I checked my restorer and retainer hourly during the day and was conservative with tape tension and Retainer size used during my sleep. I knew that the period I was most vulnerable to damage was while I was asleep. That was the only time I didn't check every hour. If ever there was a problem I would wake with discomfort and go check what was happening. After some readjustment it would be back to sleep for the rest of the night.
I put black skin on my checklist as a reminder that this was no game and the stakes were high if I got it wrong. I trusted that I was diligent enough and cautious enough that I could never let things get so out of control that permanent damage would result. I have seen pictures on the internet of guys who have had serious problems as a result of their restoration techniques. It can and does happen. Don't try this at home folks...
I know it would have been embarrassing I had had to go to my Doctor with a foreskin injury but delaying because I was embarrassed would have been worse. Skin that has lost its blood supply for some time can die. Once it dies it starts to decompose and conditions like gangrene can result. I know this sounds alarmist but that's how seriously I take the safety of my penis and foreskin. If it got injured I would have swallowed my pride and embarrassment and gone to the Doctor immediately because not doing so, like waiting a day more to see if it gets better, could have have resulted in the most unthinkable outcome.
The embarrassment would potentially have been worse if my partner or friends didn't know that I was Restoring or if I had been living at home with the folks. I grew up in a small town where the Doctor's surgery seemed to leak its secrets, I can imagine having to go there for help would not have filled me with any joy whatsoever. But the consequences of not going are a thousand times worse than any amount of embarrassment.
One of the reasons I told people that I was Restoring was to "normalise" it amongst my peer group. In the end it almost became dinner conversation and it was no longer a source of embarrassment for me or others. I don't expect everyone feels they can be that open with their friends but if I had ever needed to seek medical attention it would sure have helped knowing my friends were there to support me.
That phrase may be a little trite - but there is an element of truth to it. The body comes already hard wired with an amazing detection and warning system. The slightest hint of pain is a warning sign I learned to pick up on immediately and allowed me to deal with potential problems before they escalated. I can truly say (very mild warning ) pain kept me from injuring myself.
In the early stages when I was still getting the hang of everything I would occasionally tape my Restorer on slightly too tightly. The tape can be the right tension all of the way around apart from one point where the foreskin is slightly pinched. At the time I didn't have enough experience to know and if it's only slightly too tight it doesn't hurt right away. But after an hour or so sharp pain would start at the point where the foreskin was being pinched. That meant a hasty visit to the nearest men's room to remove the Restorer. Because I wore it all day sometimes having to make an emergency visit to the men's room was a problem - especially if I was on a train or somewhere else with no men's facilities!
Once I found a private spot I was able to remove the Restorer and immediately massage the pinched foreskin to get the blood supply back. Then I would check it over carefully to see that all was OK and that the pain was caused by the tape pinching and not something else. Once I was satisfied that all was OK I would decide whether to continue Restoring or to rest. In the early days I would rest. When I had more experience I would pick up on the tape being too tight before it got to the point of pain. I knew the Restorer so well I could untape to the pinch point, go through the procedure mentioned above and then retape and continue Restoring in comfort.
The tape only has one life, so once it's been disturbed it doesn't tape down so well the next time. If the pinch point was near the start or end of the tape it was easy to untape back to the pinch point, go through the procedure and retape. On days when retaping was required, invariably the Restorer wouldn't last the whole day. The retaped part would slowly loose its grip and eventually come away from the foreskin and/or Restorer thereby reducing the effectiveness and evenness of the stretch.
While not strictly a health danger, restoring in a way that causes the formation of scar tissue could have endangered the successful completion of my restoration. Scar tissue is what the body uses to fix up damage with. While it serves a purpose and gets us up and running quickly it doesn't have the same properties as the tissues it is fixing up. For example it isn't as pliable or stretchy as skin tissue and especially not foreskin tissue.
Placing my Restorer under too much tension can have result in micro tears along the length of the skin being stretched. I would never have noticed these tears and my body would have quickly repaired them with scar tissue. But eventually the amount of scar tissue present would have increased to a point where it reduced the effectiveness of the whole natural process I based my restoration principles on.
I would have been trying to stretch skin riddled with scar tissue and my progress would have gone down. I know that a usual reaction to slow progress is to try and speed things up again - maybe by increasing the stretch tension! Bad move. That would have only lead to more micro tears and more scar tissue. Progress would have gone down even more and that would have been so demoralising that I may have even given up thinking I had reached some physical limit.
I based my restoration techniques on gentle stretching and that means only enough tension to create a slight gap between the skin cells into which a new skin cell would grow. Where I think I have gone further than others before is that I can stretch for many hours at a time and indeed almost all day.
When my partner was away (we agreed that I couldn't wear it in bed if we were both there) I would put my Restorer on after my morning shower and remove it again in the evening for another shower. I would put it on again and wear it all night, removing it again for the morning shower. Several days of this in a row give amazing progress. If I could have done this continuously I could have re-evaluated my target and gone for a much higher CI target.
There is a second issue with scar tissue. The scar tissue that forms my circumcision scar. For a discussion on how that effected my restoration click here.
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