Balanitis Explained: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, Prevention & Relief

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By Steve Page

Balanitis is a common condition. Balanitis is an inflammation of the glans penis, which is the rounded head of the penis. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including infection, irritation, or an allergic reaction.

It is important to have a proper physical exam to diagnose the condition. A healthcare professional will take a swab or scrape a portion of the skin to look for any unusual infection. If the skin is not responding to treatment, a biopsy will be taken to rule out malignancy.

A salt bath can help reduce swelling. In some cases, a salt solution can be added to the water to help alleviate the pain.

The doctor may also prescribe antibiotics if the infection is bacterial. Yeast infections can also cause balanitis. If you have any underlying medical conditions, your doctor may recommend additional tests.

Some people develop balanitis as a result of diabetes. This is due to the condition’s impact on the immune system. This makes it easier for yeast and bacteria to grow and spread.

Balanitis can be transmitted through skin-to-skin contact. It can be prevented by ensuring good hygiene. To keep your penis clean, wash it daily with warm water and dry it thoroughly. Avoid using harsh soaps or detergents. It’s also a good idea to use a barrier cream to prevent faeces from touching the area.

What Are the Causes of Balanitis?

Balanitis is caused by an underlying yeast infection. This fungus is similar to the one that causes vaginal thrush in women. It normally lives under the foreskin but can grow in an environment that is warm and moist.

The best way to prevent balanitis is to avoid sex while you are experiencing the signs and symptoms. It is a good idea to make cleaning under the foreskin a regular part of your hygiene routine. Using mild soap and water, wash the area before peeing.

Keeping the glans clean is also a key element of balanitis prevention. If you have an infection, use an antifungal cream or pill. In addition, you should avoid scented products to help prevent a recurrence.

Circumcision is also an effective treatment for balanitis. Circumcision is a surgical procedure in which a part or all of the foreskin is removed. The foreskin can then be cleaned once the child reaches five years of age. This will reduce the swelling of the penis and allow it to retract.

If the balanitis is caused by an underlying condition, it is usually treated with antibiotics and antifungal medicines. Patients should also wash their hands before and after sex to minimize the risk of recurrence.

What Are the Symptoms of Balanitis?

Symptoms of balanitis include redness and pain at the tip of the penis. In some cases, these symptoms are also associated with an infection. It’s important to see a doctor if you think you have this condition.

To treat balanitis, your doctor may recommend antibiotics, steroid cream, or circumcision. If your condition does not improve, your doctor may suggest a skin biopsy. This will help to determine whether you have an underlying infection or a different skin problem.

In addition to this, your doctor will also perform a physical exam. He or she will ask you questions about your health and sexual habits. They will also take a sample of the discharge to rule out any other infections. If your condition is particularly severe, your doctor may refer you to a sexual health clinic.

To prevent balanitis, it’s important to keep the penis clean. Uncircumcised men should ensure they are using condoms and performing proper genital hygiene. If you have recurring balanitis, your doctor may advise you to have a circumcision.

If you have diabetes, you can reduce your risk of developing balanitis by controlling your blood sugar. If you’re a new partner, you can have a checkup at your doctor’s office.

If your condition worsens, you may have to undergo surgery. A dorsal slit operation can release the trapped material under the foreskin.

Treatment for balanitis is generally very effective. In most cases, the infection will clear up in three to five days. You should start the medication within seven days of being diagnosed.

Which Medications Treat Balanitis?

Treatment for balanitis will depend on the underlying cause, but some common medications that may be used to treat this condition include:

  • Antibiotics: If balanitis is caused by a bacterial infection, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics such as Lotriderm to help clear the infection and reduce inflammation.
  • Antifungal medications: If balanitis is caused by a fungal infection, your doctor may prescribe antifungal medications to kill the fungus and treat the infection.
  • Topical corticosteroids: These medications can help reduce inflammation and itching associated with balanitis.
  • Topical antibiotics: In some cases, your doctor may recommend applying a topical antibiotic ointment or cream to the affected area to help clear the infection.
  • Pain relievers: Over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help alleviate discomfort associated with balanitis.

In most cases, the infection is cleared up in three to five days. But it can persist if left untreated.

How to Prevent Getting Balanitis

Getting balanitis is not a pleasant experience. The pain and inflammation can make it difficult to have a normal sexual experience. However, there are ways to prevent it. The most important thing to do is to maintain good hygiene.

You should wash your penis and foreskin daily. This will help to reduce the chance of getting balanitis. You should also avoid harsh soaps or chemicals on your genitals. You should always try to dry your glans with a soft cloth, not rubbing.

You may also want to get a blood test to check for conditions like diabetes and thrush. Using a barrier method will also help.

Different Types of Balanitis

The main types of balanitis are Zoon’s balanitis, circinate balanitis, and Pseudoepitheliomatous keratotic balanitis. Those with the latter form of balanitis will have scaly wart-like bumps on their glans.

Some common types of balanitis include:

  • Infectious balanitis: This type of balanitis is caused by an infection, either bacterial or fungal. It may be accompanied by symptoms such as redness, swelling, and discharge from the penis.
  • Zoon’s balanitis: This is a rare type of balanitis that is caused by a chronic infection with the bacterium Escherichia coli. It is typically seen in older men and can cause severe symptoms such as ulcers and scarring on the penis.
  • Balanitis xerotica obliterans (BXO): This is a condition in which the skin of the penis becomes thickened and scarred, leading to narrowing of the opening at the tip of the penis. It can cause symptoms such as difficulty urinating and pain during sex.
  • Diabetes-related balanitis: Men with diabetes are more likely to develop balanitis, and it may be more difficult to treat in this population. Diabetes-related balanitis may be caused by a combination of factors such as poor blood sugar control, infection, and changes in the skin due to high blood sugar levels.
  • Allergic balanitis: This type of balanitis is caused by an allergic reaction to a substance that comes into contact with the penis. It may be accompanied by symptoms such as redness, swelling, and itching.

Getting Relief From Balanitis

Relief for balanitis will depend on the underlying cause, but some common methods for getting relief from this condition include:

  • Keeping the penis clean: Cleaning the penis regularly with warm water and gentle soap can help prevent the build up of bacteria and other substances that can cause balanitis. Avoid using scented soaps or other products that may irritate the skin.
  • Avoiding irritants: Avoid using harsh soaps or chemicals that may irritate the skin of the penis, as these can increase the risk of developing balanitis.
  • Using an appropriate lubricant: Using a water-based lubricant during sex can help prevent irritation and chafing of the skin on the penis, which can lead to balanitis. Avoid using oils or other lubricants that may irritate the skin.
  • Wearing loose-fitting clothing: Tight clothing, especially underwear, can trap moisture and heat against the skin, which can increase the risk of developing balanitis. Wear loose-fitting clothing and avoid wearing synthetic materials that do not allow the skin to breathe.
  • Avoiding sexual activity: If you have balanitis, it is important to avoid sexual activity until the condition has cleared up. This will help prevent the spread of infection and allow the affected area to heal.

How Long Does Balanitis Last?

The duration of balanitis will depend on the underlying cause and the effectiveness of the treatment. In most cases, balanitis can be successfully treated with a course of antibiotics or antifungal medications. If these treatments are effective, the symptoms of balanitis should begin to improve within a few days to a week. In some cases, however, the condition may persist for longer periods of time or may recur.