Balanitis: Infection of the Penis Tip, Causes, Symptoms and Diagnosis

Balanitis is swelling of the foreskin, or head of the penis. Balanitis affects roughly 1 in 20 males.

Balanitis largely occurs in uncircumcised men. It can be painful, but it typically isn’t serious. It often can be relieved by using topical medication.

 

What causes balanitis to develop?

Balanitis is inflammation typically caused by infections or chronic skin conditions.

Improper hygiene can contribute to skin irritation. Both inadequate cleansing and too much cleansing can add to this problem.

The condition is often caused by an overgrowth of either bacteria or yeast.

The foreskin of the penis is an ideal place for these organisms to grow because it can trap moisture around the penis head.

Injuries on the tip of the penis or foreskin can cause swelling and discomfort.

Irritation in the area can also cause balanitis.

Irritation can be caused by:

  • not rinsing soap completely off of your penis after showering
  • using scented soaps to clean your penis
  • using bar soap that dries out the skin
  • using scented lotions or sprays on your penis

Some laxatives, sleeping pills, painkillers, and antibiotics can cause balanitis as a side effect. This is called a fixed drug eruption.

Balanitis
MALE REPRODUCTIVE ORGAN

 

Other causes of balanitis include:

  • reactive arthritis
  • uncontrolled diabetes
  • sexually transmitted infections like syphilis, trichomonas, and gonorrhea

Symptoms of balanitis

Swelling and redness of the foreskin may indicate balanitis. Other symptoms may include:

  • tightened foreskin
  • discharge
  • itchy genitals
  • pain in the genital area
  • painful skin on the penis

Swelling of your penis tip can put pressure on your urethra. This can cause painful urination.

Diagnosing balanitis

Balanitis can usually be diagnosed during a physical examination because most of its symptoms are visible.

If you have discharge, your doctor may take a sample of it with a cotton swab or collect a urine sample.

They will check it for the presence of bacterial or fungal cells. This helps determine the cause of the balanitis.

When the cause of balanitis is a chronic skin condition, your doctor may perform a biopsy.

For a biopsy, your doctor removes a small piece of tissue from the penis in order to examine it for disease.

You’ll be given local anesthesia before the doctor collects the sample.

Is balanitis contagious?

The answer to this question is somehow complex; not a simple yes or no.

  • Balanitis caused by the normal skin bacteria on the penis or balanitis caused by a chemical skin irritant is generally considered non-contagious.
  • Balanitis caused by certain fungi (yeast) and/or specific bacteria or viruses (including those that cause STDs such as gonorrhea) is transferable from one person directly to another person.
  • Although the actual disease balanitis usually is not transferred to other males, the organisms causing balanitis may be transferred.
  • Since some of the bacteria, fungi, or viruses that cause balanitis are contagious, balanitis could be considered “contagious” under special conditions (such as balanitis caused by STDs).

Treating balanitis

Discontinue the use of all perfumed soaps, lotions, or powders, as they are often are a cause of foreskin irritation. Use only warm water for cleansing.

Medication

After a diagnosis, your doctor will likely prescribe a medicated anti-itch cream. This cream helps stop itching and inflammation.

If you have an infection, your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic or antifungal medication to help clear it.

This may be all you need to stop the inflammation, swelling, itching, and discharge.

Your doctor may also prescribe medicated creams with steroids to reduce inflammation.

Over-the-counter treatment

You can try treating balanitis yourself with a mixture of diluted vinegar and Burow’s solution applied to the area with a compress.

This mixture acts as an astringent.

Astringents cause the skin to contract, which helps relieve irritation.

Your balanitis may be caused by a fungus (a type of yeast infection).

In this case, you can use an antifungal cream that contains nystatin, clotrimazole, or terbinafine.

If you’re trying over-the-counter treatments, do not use them longer than two weeks.

If you are not improving, see your doctor for evaluation.

It’s important to make sure you do not have a more serious health problem.

Complications of balanitis

Seek treatment quickly to reduce your chances of developing complications from balanitis. Possible complications include:

  • scarring in the penis opening
  • painful foreskin retraction
  • inadequate blood supply to the penis

Allergic dermatitis can be a cause of balanitis that involves extreme itching, rash, hives, and inflamed skin.

This inflammation can lead to scarring.

Scar tissue in the penis opening can cause the opening to narrow.

This can lead to lasting discomfort and difficulty urinating.

 

Phimosis

Some men’s foreskins do not retract even after treatment.

This condition is known as phimosis.

Phimosis doesn’t result from acute balanitis, but from long-standing (chronic) balanitis.

In some cases, untreated phimosis requires surgery.

Surgeries can involve cutting a slit along the top of the foreskin to separate it from the penis.

Other surgeries require circumcision, the complete removal of the foreskin.

The earlier you address balanitis, the better your outlook will be.

 

How to prevent balanitis

Preventing balanitis is as easy as practicing proper hygiene.

Shower every day, especially after you sweat or engage in sexual intercourse.

You can also prevent balanitis by:

  • avoiding the use of perfumed or deodorizing products on your penis
  • completely drying the penis after you shower

Conclusion

Balanitis symptoms may only last a few days if you address them as soon as you recognize them.

Long periods of balanitis may be a cause for concern.

These longer cases can usually be shortened with prescribed medications or an over-the-counter treatment.

But proper diagnosis is important.

Most cases of balanitis can be resolved with improved hygiene and the use of topical medications.

RELATED INFECTIONS TO BALANITIS:

Posthitis

Posthitis is the inflammation of the foreskin of the penis.

In the uncircumcised male, posthitis and balanitis, that is, the inflammation of the glans, (glans is the rounded head of the penis) usually occur together as balanoposthitis inflammation of both the glans and foreskin.

Circumcision prevents balanoposthitis.

Balanoposthitis is a condition that affects the penis.

It causes inflammation of the foreskin and glans.

The foreskin, also known as the prepuce, is a fold of movable skin that covers the glans of the penis.

The glans, or head, is the rounded tip of the penis.

Since the foreskin is removed during circumcision, balanoposthitis 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 balanoposthitis.

Balanoposthitis is treatable.

Balanoposthitis is a condition that affects the penis.

It causes inflammation of the foreskin and glans.

The foreskin, also known as the prepuce, is a fold of movable skin that covers the glans of the penis.

The glans, or head, is the rounded tip of the penis.

Since the foreskin is removed during circumcision, balanoposthitis 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 balanoposthitis. Balanoposthitis is treatable.

Keep reading to understand the difference between balanoposthitis and other related conditions.    

Differences between Balanoposthitis, phimosis and balanitis

Balanoposthitis is often confused with two similar conditions: phimosis and balanitis. All three conditions affect the penis. However, each condition affects a different part of the penis.

  • Phimosis is a condition that makes it difficult to retract the foreskin.
  • Balanitis is inflammation of the head of the penis.
  • Balanoposthitis is inflammation of both the penis head and the foreskin.

Phimosis can occur alongside either balanitis or balanoposthitis.

In many cases, it acts as both a symptom and a cause.

For example, having phimosis makes it easier to develop irritation of the glans and foreskin.

Once this irritation occurs, symptoms such as pain and swelling may make it more difficult to retract the foreskin.

 

Treatment options (Treatment for Balanoposthitis)

Treatment for balanoposthitis depends on the cause of irritation. Treating the underlying cause often clears up symptoms.

Sometimes, the cause of balanoposthitis is unknown.

In these cases, treatments focus on minimizing discomfort during urination or sex.

Antibiotic and antifungal creams are common treatments. Corticosteroid creams may also be prescribed.

Making regular daily efforts to wash and dry the foreskin can sometimes prevent balanoposthitis.

Conversely, avoiding soaps and other potential irritants is often recommended.

 

WHAT MOST OF OUR VISITORS USED TO GET RID OF THEIR INFECTION

TERRASIL
Terrasil® Balanitis Relief – 100% Guaranteed, Patented All-natural, gentle, soothing skin relief ointment for relief from irritation, itch, redness and inflammation, Balanitis symptoms – 14g

Terrasil® Balanitis Relief – 100% Guaranteed, Patented All-natural, gentle, soothing skin relief ointment for relief from irritation, itch, redness and inflammation, Balanitis symptoms – 14g