Balanitis is a condition that is characterized by a swelling of the rounded head called penis or glans while Posthitis is the swelling of the foreskin caused by fungal and bacterial infections. The foreskin is the loose skin that envelops the head of the glans when at the male is not yet circumcised. Another condition is called balanoposthitis occurs when the glans and the foreskin are both swollen.
Balanitis can happen at any age of the boy particularly at the age of four, or older males who are not yet circumcised. This is a common contion which affects one for every 25 boys and one case for every 30 uncircumcised men.
What triggers Balanitis?
The condition is generally triggered by poor hygiene practices in men who are not circumcised. Other reasons for having this balanitis include some infections, strong soaps and not washing the soap off completely while taking a bath, diabetes, and when the men have illnesses like reactive arthritis and lichen sclerosis et atrophicus.
There are also signs to know if you have balanitis like there is redness in the foreskin or glans (penis), bad-smelling discharges, painful glans and foreskin, and rashes on the head of the glans or penis.
The treatment will depend on the reasons for the condition, such as when balanitis is caused by bacteria can be treated with antibiotic tabs or creams. But balanitis with skin illnesses may be healed with steroid creams and balanitis with fungus will be recommended to use anti-fungal creams. For serious balanitis cases, circumcision is recommended
Those with balanitis but does not have phimosis may follow this procedure:
Clean the glans or penis and foreskin by pulling back gently the foreskin everyday and soak it with warm water.
For children and those with mild balanitis, you may use antifungals and the mothers of the young boys should pull back the foreskin every day with 0.05% betamethasone cream two times daily.
The topical steroids have limited success with males with moderate to severe balanitis xerotica obliterans. These men have high chances to get distal scarring of the foreskin. For recurring cases, 1% of pimecrolimus cream can be used instead of steroids.
You can apply bacitracin (avoid using Neosporin) with younger boys if there is suspected bacterial infection. Older men with suspected candidal balanitis may apply topical clotrimazole.
With complicated balanitis cases like those linked with cellulitis can use antibiotics after consultation with the doctor.
Men with balanitis case and complicated with erectile dysfunction or ED, phimosis, and serious urinary obstruction is may required to have surgical procedure or if not, may have to use the following method:
Application of steroid cream and pulling back the foreskin gently
Dilate the foreskin with the use of a clamp and being very careful not to hurt the penis. If the penis is glued to the foreskin, the method can be contraindicated. Procedure may need the use of analgesics, sedation, and local anesthesia.
Your urologist or doctor may recommend a dorsal slit incision which is cutting the foreskin over the dorsal shaft of the penis to widen the foreskin opening. This method needs sedation and local anesthesia. Circumcision is another option but this procedure is not a preventive cure for balanitis for younger boys of three years old.
Having balanitis with inflammation or infections can lead to serious problems if they are not addressed to immediately. Complications may include scar and tight opening of the penis called meatal stricture, difficulty and painful retraction of the foreskin which is called phimosis, difficulty in moving the foreskin over the head of the glans called as paraphimosis, and inadequate supply of the blood to the tip of the penis.
Having this kind of condition is not something to be ashamed of. If any discomfort and pain that is being experienced should be consulted to the doctor for appropriate medication before it gets worst and severe.