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Balanitis – Inflammation of the Glans Penis
Inflammation of the glans penis
BalanoPosthitis

Picture-of-Balanitis-of-Glans-Penis-Caused-by-Soap-Change

Picture-of-Balanitis-of-Glans-Penis-Caused-by-Soap-Change

 

 

What is Balanitis / Balanoposthitis?

What causes Balanitis / Balanoposthitis?

How long does Balanitis / Balanoposthitis take to show after contact?

What are the symptoms of Balanitis / Balanoposthitis?

How is Balanitis / Balanoposthitis diagnosed?

What is the treatment for Balanitis / Balanoposthitis?

What complications can arise from having Balanitis / Balanoposthitis?

How can I avoid developing Balanitis / Balanoposthitis?

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What is Balanitis / Balanoposthitis? 

  • Balanitis is a collection of differing conditions, which present with similar and varying causes. It is a common condition which affects many male genito-urinary clinic attendees and may cause: • Inflammation of the head of the penis (glans penis) – ie. Balanitis.
  • Inflammation of the foreskin (prepuce) – ie. Posthitis.
  • Inflammation of the head of the penis (glans penis) and foreskin (prepuce) – ie. Balanoposthitis.

What causes Balanitis / Balanoposthitis? 

Balanitis can develop from a range of factors which includes:

  • Infectious Candida Albicans (Thrush), Trichomonas Vaginalis (TV), Streptococci (Groups A & B), Gardnerella Vaginalis, Staphylococcus Aureus, Mycobacteria (Bowen’s disease), Entamoeba Histolytica (Psoriasis), Chlamydia (Reiter’s disease), Syphilis, Herpes Simplex and Human Papilloma Virus (HPV).
  • Reaction to fixed drugs, contraceptive spermicide, antiseptics or disinfectants.
  • Poor personal hygiene – ie. if the foreskin is not pulled back (retracted) and the area underneath washed properly every day.
  • Trauma or accidental damage to the penis.
  • Diabetes.

And, rarely:

  • Moist shiny red patches on the tip of the penis or under the foreskin, which may be pre-malignant (pre-cancerous). Therefore, it is important to be checked properly by a qualified medical practitioner or healthcare professional.

How long does Balanitis / Balanoposthitis take to show after contact? 

Balanitis takes variable lengths of time to show after contact and depends upon the cause(s).

What are the symptoms of Balanitis / Balanoposthitis? 

  • Signs and symptoms of Balanitis on your penis may include
  • Local rash/spots – which may be scaly or ulcerated.
  • Soreness.
  • Itching.
  • Cracks on your penis.
  • Swelling – that may be fluid-filled and make it difficult to pull back (retract) the foreskin, which may become tight.
  • Discomfort and/or pain.
  • Discharge from the glans/behind the foreskin.
  • Odour.
  • Pain during sex.
  • Pain or difficulty when passing urine.

Also, there may be:

  • Rash elsewhere on the body.
  • Mouth soreness or ulceration.
  • Joint pains.
  • Swollen/painful glands.
  • A general feeling of discomfort and being unwell.

How is Balanitis / Balanoposthitis diagnosed? 

Depending on the investigation(s) required, Balanitis is diagnosed from specimens taken by wiping a special cotton wool bud (swab) through the discharge or urine analysis which will be sent to the laboratory.

The results may be viewed by a qualified medical practitioner from the genito-urinary clinic at the time of your visit.

A tissue sample may be taken for examination (biopsy) if the diagnosis is uncertain and the condition persists.

What is the treatment for Balanitis / Balanoposthitis? 

Because Balanitis is a clinical diagnosis and covers a range of different conditions, recommendations for management are given individually.

  • For example, if the cause is the result of an infection:
  • You are likely to be given the appropriate antibiotic or cream.
  • If your foreskin will pull back (retract), you may be advised to bathe the area in a salt-water solution (1 heaped tablespoonful of salt to 1 pint of warm water) 4 times a day, for between 5 and 10 minutes. This will make you feel more comfortable.
  • If your foreskin will not pull back (retract), you may be taught special cleaning techniques, using a syringe (without a needle attached!) to irrigate the sore areas with the salt water solution.
  • If the problem persists, you may be advised to have a circumcision (surgical removal of the foreskin).

Follow up treatment is not usually required unless the symptoms and signs are particularly severe or an underlying problem is suspected.

Where the standard treatment for a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) is a course of antibiotics:

  • You must complete the full course – otherwise the infection may not be cured, may return and you may become resistant to the antibiotics used to treat it.
  • When you’ve finished treatment, you may be asked to return to the clinic treating you and the tests may be repeated, to check that the infection has cleared.

What complications can arise from having Balanitis / Balanoposthitis? 

Complications can arise from having Balanitis / Balanoposthitis for which – in addition to treatment of the underlying skin disease – surgery may be required.

Complications include:

  • Phimosis – ie. narrowing of the opening of the foreskin so that it cannot be retracted.
  • Meatal stenosis – ie. narrowing of the opening of the urinary tract.

And, rarely:

  • Malignant transformation – ie. cancer.

How can I avoid developing Balanitis / Balanoposthitis? 

You can avoid developing Balanitis by ALWAYS:

  • Observing good personal hygiene.
  • Wearing a condom each time you have sex.
  • Treating all areas of your penis with great respect and sensitivity.
  • Consulting a qualified medical practitioner or healthcare professional before a minor condition worsens.
  • Being honest and straightforward when answering questions about your sexual history.

 




 


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