Balanitis - Symptoms, causes and treatment

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Balanitis - Symptoms, causes and treatment
Balanitis - Symptoms, causes and treatment

Balanitis is inflammation of the foreskin or head of the penis. This condition is characterized by the head of the penis that looks red and swollen due to a bacterial infection, fungal infection, or allergy

Balanitis can be experienced by anyone, especially children under 4 years old and uncircumcised adult men. However, this condition can also be experienced by adult men or babies who have been circumcised.

Balanitis - allodokter
Balanitis - allodokter

Balanitis is not a serious condition and can heal within a few days with proper treatment.

The Cause of Balanitis

Balanitis is generally caused by a bacterial or fungal infection. Infection can occur when the head of the penis or foreskin is not cleaned regularly, causing irritation and causing fungal or bacterial growth. If left unchecked, this condition can trigger inflammation.

In addition to infection, balanitis can also be caused by various other factors, such as:

  • The use of bar soap that makes the penis skin dry and irritated
  • Allergy to lubricants or latex condoms
  • Consumption of certain drugs, such as laxatives, pain relievers, and antibiotics
  • Sexually transmitted infections, such as syphilis, trichomoniasis, and gonorrhea
  • Skin disorders, such as eczema and psoriasis
  • Injuries to the tip of the penis or foreskinCertain diseases or disorders, such as diabetes and phimosis
  • Obesity

Symptoms of Balanitis

The main symptoms of balanitis are redness and swelling of the head of the penis or foreskin. The swollen tip of the penis can cause pressure on the urinary tract so that the sufferer feels pain when urinating.

Balanitis can also cause some additional symptoms, such as:

  • The penis feels itchy and burns
  • A yellowish and smelly discharge from the penis
  • Foreskin feels tight
  • A lump appears in the groin due to swollen lymph nodes

When to see a doctor

Immediately consult a doctor if you experience the symptoms of balanitis mentioned above. Early treatment needs to be done to prevent serious complications.

Get regular he alth checks if you have diabetes, because uncontrolled blood sugar levels can trigger balanitis. Blood sugar test should be done at least twice a year.

Immediately consult a doctor if you are at high risk of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) due to unsafe sex behavior. Get screened for STDs regularly, at least once a year, to prevent balanitis or other dangerous conditions.

Immediately go to the ER if you experience symptoms of balanitis accompanied by fever and pain when urinating. Treatment needs to be done immediately to relieve symptoms and prevent complications.

Balanitis Diagnosis

Doctors can diagnose balanitis through redness on the head of the penis which indicates inflammation. If the penis has discharge, the doctor will perform a swab test to take a sample of the fluid. This examination is done to detect bacteria or fungi that cause infection.

If balanitis is caused by a chronic skin infection, the doctor will perform a biopsy, by taking a sample of penile tissue and examining it in the laboratory.

Balanitis Treatment

Balanitis can be treated through drug therapy. The type of medication used depends on the underlying cause. The drugs commonly given are:

  • Antibiotics

    Antibiotics are used to treat balanitis caused by bacterial infection. This drug is given in the form of an ointment or pills. Examples of antibiotics used are amoxicillin, cefadroxil, and ciprofloxacin.

  • Antifungal

    Antifungal is used to treat balanitis caused by Candida yeast infection (balanitis candidiasis). This drug is given in the form of a cream or tablet. Some of the antifungal drugs used are clotrimazole, fluconazole, and itraconazole.

  • Corticosteroids

    This drug is used to relieve inflammation in balanitis, either due to infection or allergies. Corticosteroid drugs that are often given include prednisolone, methylprednisolone, and betamethasone.

During treatment, patients are advised to do the following to speed up healing:

  • Avoid using soap while the penis is still inflamed.
  • Use warm water and moisturizing cream instead of soap to clean the penis.
  • Avoid having sex, especially if balanitis is caused by a sexually transmitted infection. This is done to prevent pain in the penis and the transmission of diseases to the

Treatment generally lasts for 7 days. If symptoms worsen and medications are no longer effective at treating balanitis, the doctor will perform a circumcision or circumcision. Circumcision is performed on patients with balanitis who have never been circumcised or have phimosis.

Balanitis Complications

Most balanitis resolves within a few days with proper treatment. On the other hand, if not treated immediately, balanitis can cause the following conditions:

  • Priapismus
  • Phimosis
  • Penile cancer, although rare

Balanitis Prevention

The main way to prevent balanitis is to keep the penis clean. The trick is to clean the penis regularly using water and soap, especially when bathing and after sex. After that, dry the penis before putting on the underwear.

Also, make sure the soap you use to clean the penis is not bar soap or soap that contains scrubs or perfume.

Other measures to prevent balanitis are as follows:

  • Use condoms specifically for sensitive skin, if you have an allergy to condoms with certain ingredients.
  • Wash your hands before touching your penis, especially after using detergent or dish soap.
  • Do regular he alth checkups if you have diabetes, to control blood sugar levels.
  • Lose weight if you are obese, for example by exercising regularly and maintaining a he althy diet.

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