What is balanitis?

Balanitis is an inflammation of the head of the male penis, and when the swelling also affects the foreskin – a removable foreskin that covers the head of the penis, then the disease means like balanoposthitis.

This is a common condition affecting boys and men equally, however it occurs more often in the uncircumcised.

What are the symptoms?

The manifestations of the disease may vary and you may not experience all of them:

The most common signs are:

  • Skin redness, swelling, inflammation or soreness around the glans or foreskin.
  • Thick discharge under the foreskin;
  • Rash or sores/sores/on the glans of the penis;
  • Itching;
  • Foul smell;
  • Pain when urinating;
  • Tight foreskin that cannot be pulled back, to expose the head. The medical term for this condition is phimosis.

When should we seek medical attention?

This condition is usually not serious, but it can be a sign of another condition such as sexually transmitted infection or thrush – a type of fungal infection.

This is why it is important to seek medical attention. Also, if your son has several of the above symptoms, you should also consult a doctor. The doctor will advise you how to clean the head of the penis and in particular under the precipium.

What are the causes of balanitis?

The causes of the disease are the accumulation of a substance called smegma, fungal infections and sexually transmitted infections.


In most cases, the inflammation is due to skin irritation from the build-up of a foul-smelling, cheese-like substance called smegma. It is a natural lubricant that keeps the penis moist and coats the glans and the area below the foreskin.

In young boys, smegma can build up because it can be difficult to fully retract the foreskin at this age. This makes it difficult to keep the penis clean.

And in men, the accumulation of smegma can lead to inflammation of the penis if the penis is not kept clean.

Other possible causes are:

  • Fungal infection /thrush/;
  • Bacterial infection – streptococci most often cause inflammation of the penis;
  • Allergic reaction or skin irritation due to an unwanted reaction of the skin to certain substances such as shower gel or soap. This condition is referred to in medicine as contact dermatitis.
  • Skin disease such as atopic dermatitis or psoriasis;
  • In small boys, repeated play with the foreskin.

< p>Possible causes in sexually active men

  • Practicing unprotected sex with a woman who has thrush;
  • Sexually transmitted infections such as genital herpes, chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis;
  • Inflammation caused by the latex of condoms ;

Treatment of balanitis

The method of treatment is determined by what is the cause of the condition. In all cases, potential irritants should be avoided and excellent hygiene should be maintained:

  • Keep your penis clean by washing it with warm water twice a day.
  • Avoid using soap and other irritants as instead of soap you can use a special water cream.
  • < li>Wash your hands thoroughly after using the toilet.

Potential irritants should be avoided. With balanitis, urine is the biggest irritant, so you should not let it stay on the skin of your penis.

Other irritants to avoid are:

  • Soaps and shower gels;
  • Baby wipes;
  • Latex condoms;
  • Lubricants;
  • Antiseptics;< /li>
  • Hygiene sprays;

If the inflammation of your penis is the result of skin irritation, topical corticosteroids – a steroid cream or ointment – ​​are most often prescribed.

Apply the cream to the head of your penis once or twice a day until the symptoms disappear. Do not use the medicine for more than 14 consecutive days, as side effects such as skin itching and rash may develop.

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