Penis Disorders (cont.)

How Is balanitis treated?

Treatment for balanitis depends on the underlying cause. If there is an infection, treatment will include an appropriate antibiotic or antifungal medication. In cases of severe or persistent inflammation, a circumcision may be recommended.

Taking appropriate hygiene measures can help prevent future bouts of balanitis, such as retracting the foreskin daily and adequately cleaning and drying the head of the penis. In addition, it is important to avoid strong soaps or chemicals, especially those known to cause a skin reaction.

What is phimosis?

Phimosis is a condition in which the foreskin of the penis is so tight that it cannot be pulled back (retracted) to reveal the head of the penis.

What causes phimosis?

Phimosis, which is seen most often in children, may be present at birth. It also can be caused by an infection, or by scar tissue that formed as a result of injury or chronic inflammation. Another cause of phimosis is balanitis, which leads to scarring and tightness of the foreskin. Immediate medical attention is necessary if the condition makes urination difficult or impossible.

How is phimosis treated?

Treatment of phimosis may include gentle, manual stretching of the foreskin over a period of time. Sometimes, the foreskin can be loosened with medication applied to the penis. Circumcision, the surgical removal of the foreskin, often is used to treat phimosis. Another surgical procedure, called preputioplasty, involves separating the foreskin from the glans (head of the penis). This procedure preserves the foreskin and is less traumatic than circumcision.

What is paraphimosis?

Paraphimosis occurs when the foreskin, once retracted, cannot return to its original location. It is a medical emergency that can cause serious complications if not treated.

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