Balanitis is a specific condition that affects the penis. It shows in inflammation of the foreskin and glans. The foreskin, which is also defined as the prepuce, is a fold of movable skin that covers the glans of the penis. The glans is the rounded tip of the penis.
When the foreskin is removed during circumcision, Balanitis only affects uncircumcised males. It can appear at any age. It has many causes, but poor hygiene and a tight foreskin can make it easier to get balanitis. Balanitis is treatable.
How do People Get Balanitis?
One of the main causes of balanitis is poor hygiene in uncircumcised males. Other causes include:
- Genital yeast infection (candidiasis).
- Scabies (tiny burrowing parasite) infection.
- Sexually transmitted diseases.
- Skin conditions bring itchy, dry, scaly skin (such as psoriasis and eczema).
- Reactive arthritis, a particular type of arthritis that develops in response to an infection somewhere in the body.
- Sensitivity or allergy to harsh soap chemicals or chemicals.
Balanitis is diagnosed by checking for redness and inflammation of the glans. He also advises the patient to stay away from irritants. The doctor also advises the patient on the usage of condoms.
If the balanitis does not go away after avoiding irritants and maintaining proper hygiene, the doctor may suggest certain diagnostic testing. These tests include the following:
- Urinary test, if diabetes is suspected
- A blood test to check glucose levels
- A swab from glans to test for the infection in the lab
What are the Treatments for Balanitis?
The treatment for balanitis is different according to specific conditions. Treatments can include:
Antifungal creams: If you have balanitis due to a yeast infection, your doctor will prescribe an antifungal cream like clotrimazole to treat the infection. The cream should be applied to the glans (head of the penis) and foreskin as directed.
Antibiotics: If your symptoms are caused by a sexually transmitted disease, your physician will prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection. Depending on the type of infection, an antibiotic will be prescribed.
Improved hygiene: To limit the chance of balanitis relapse, your physician will advise you to wash and dry beneath your foreskin regularly.
Diabetes management: If you have diabetes, your healthcare practitioner will teach you how to control it.
Circumcision: If you have persistent balanitis symptoms, your doctor may suggest circumcision.
How to Tell If balanitis is Fungal or Bacterial?
For bacterial balanitis, treatment like an antibiotic pill regimen or antibiotic cream is often recommended.
Antifungal cream is frequently used to treat candida balanitis (since it is a fungal infection similar to thrush). If you have had an allergic reaction as the root cause, a steroid is often used to lower symptoms.
While it’s not advisable to self-diagnose or self-treat, as it is cure itself. Carefully cleaning the area and avoiding scented lotions or soaps can help avoid the progression of the condition.
Who Treats Balanitis-A Skin Specialist or Urologist?
While you might be confused about who to see in this case, it is a Urologist who you must see. Urologists detect and treat urinary tract disorders in both men and women. They can also diagnose and treat everything that has to do with a man’s reproductive system.
They may do surgery in some instances. The field of urology deals with matters relating to the urinary system and male reproductive system. Some urologists specialize in urinary tract problems in general.
Complications of Balanitis
These may include:
- Chronic pain in the head of the penis (glans)
- Lesions on the glans or foreskin
- Urinary retention or blockage of the bladder
- Urethral narrowing
- Sexual dysfunction
Remember that the head of the penis and the foreskin should be kept clean and dry to avoid infections. It is essential to wash every day, paying special care to the penis.
Here are a few tips on personal hygiene:
- The foreskin should be pulled back, exposing the glans.
- Warm water should be used to cleanse the region thoroughly and gently.
- Soap should be avoided since it might cause allergic reactions.
- Use an aqueous cream or another non-soap cleaner, but it must be fully washed off.
- The glans should be dry before replacing the foreskin.
- After sexual activity, men who are prone to developing balanitis should cleanse their penis.
If you have symptoms of balanitis, you should visit your skin specialist. A skin specialist will test you for infection and recommend good hygiene practices.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)
1- What is the permanent cure for balanitis?
Balanitis generally is not an alarming condition and is easy to treat with antibiotic creams and pills. Most occurrences of balanitis clear up within three to five days of starting treatment. Left untreated, however, it can become more painful or cause other health problems.
2- What is a balanitis cream?
Topical Canesten 1 percent cream (clotrimazole, Lotrimin) is used to treat common yeast-caused balanitis; treatment duration ranges from 2 weeks to 1 month. Lotrisone (a betamethasone and clotrimazole combination) has also been used.
3- What doctor treats balanitis?
If your balanitis isn’t caused by an infection and your doctor can’t even figure out what’s causing it, you can be referred to a skin specialist or a genitourinary (GUM) clinic for more testing.