Balanitis (Penis Disorder)

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What is balanitis?

Balanitis is an inflammation of the skin of the head of penis (glans penis). If the foreskin is involved as well, it is referred to as balanoposthitis.

What causes balanitis?

Balanitis is usually found in uncircumcised males. Poor hygiene can contribute when the area under the foreskin is not washed regularly and bacteria, skin and sweat accumulate. Some underlying medical conditions can also increase the risk of balanitis, especially diabetes mellitus.

Allergies to certain chemicals can cause an allergic balanitis. This could be chemicals in soaps or other products in touch with the glans of the penis.

Certain infections (especially yeast infections) can cause a balanitis. Reactive arthritis (formerly Reiter syndrome) is associated with inflammation around the head of the penis (circinate balanitis). Some sexually transmitted diseases can have similar symptoms (itching, redness) but are not the cause of true balanitis.

What are the symptoms of balanitis?

Symptoms of balanitis are mostly redness or mild swelling, itching, rash, and irritation or pain on or around the penis. An odorous discharge or oozing serum can accompany these symptoms.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/10/2015

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