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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.
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?
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What is the treatment for balanitis?
First, the underlying cause is determined and the treatment directed against the reason for the condition. If there is an infection, the appropriate antifungal medication can be used. If it is a hygiene issue, daily habits are changed. Young boys may require instruction on how to retract and clean their foreskin.
Medications for balanitis
The optimal medications will depend on the underlying cause of the balanitis. For examples, topical antifungal cream if Candida infection is present, or an antibiotic if a cellulitis is suspected will be prescribed. In refractory or repeated situations, the doctor might suggest circumcision as a possible way to prevent further infections by eliminating the overlying foreskin.
Over-the-counter remedies for balanitis
Switching soaps or other possible offending irritants can be helpful. In other situations the health-care professional will prescribe oral or topical medications.
How is balanitis diagnosed?
A health-care professional will usually be able to diagnose balanitis based on asking the patient questions (history) and physical examination. No additional tests are usually necessary. If a doctor suspects that the balanitis is caused by an underlying medical condition, the patient might require blood tests.
Can balanitis be prevented?
The risk of balanitis can be reduced with proper hygiene, but not all balanitis can be prevented depending on the underlying cause. Circumcision has been advocated as a way of preventing or reducing the risk of balanitis in patients who had multiple episodes.
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Fakjian N, Hunter S, Cole GW, Miller. An argument for circumcision. Prevention of balanitis in the adult. J. Arch Dermatol. 1990 Aug;126(8):1046-7.
Herzog LW, Alvarez SR. e frequency of foreskin problems in uncircumcised children. Am J Dis Child. 1986 Mar;140(3):254-6.
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CellulitisCellulitis is an acute spreading bacterial infection below the surface of the skin characterized by redness, warmth, inflammation, and pain. The most common cause of cellulitis is the bacteria staph (Staphylococcus aureus).
Circumcision The Surgical ProcedureCircumcision is a surgical procedure that removes the foreskin of the penis. Circumcision is generally a safe surgical procedure.
Diabetes MellitusDiabetes is a chronic condition characterized by high levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood. The two types of diabetes are referred to as type 1 (insulin dependent) and type 2 (non-insulin dependent). Symptoms of diabetes include increased urine output, thirst, hunger, and fatigue. Treatment of diabetes depends on the type.
Prediabetes is a condition in which a person has early symptoms of diabetes, but have not yet fully developed the condition. If prediabetes is not treated with lifestyle changes, the person will develop type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes and prediabetes can be prevented with lifestyle changes, for example, eating a healthy diet, getting more physical activity, reducing stress, quit smoking, and reducing or managing blood pressure and cholesterol, and managing any other health conditions or risk factors that you may have for developing type 2 diabetes.
Is Balanitis ContagiousBalanitis is a condition in which the head of the penis and/or foreskin that surrounds the head of an uncircumcised penis becomes inflamed. Balanitis is contagious if it is caused by certain bacteria, fungi, or viruses. Risk factors for balanitis are:
- congestive heart failure,
- morbid obesity,
- poor personal hygiene,
- diabetes, and
- redness, and
- tenderness around the head of the penis and the surrounding foreskin.
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Peyronie's Disease (Curvature of the Penis)Peyronie's disease or curvature of the penis (Peyronie disease) is a condition in which scar tissue develops inside the penis. This scar tissue causes the penis to develop an abnormal curvature in the scarred area. At this time, there is no known cause of Peyronie's disease. Symptoms of Peyronie's disease include:
- pain during intercourse or ejaculation,
- the inability to have sexual intercourse,
- an indentation of the shaft at the site where there is plaque or scarring, and
- an angulation of the penis when erect or flaccid.
Phimosis and Paraphimosis (Penis Disorders)
Phimosis and paraphimosis are penis disorders.
- Phimosis is a condition where the foreskin can't retract behind the head of the penis. Symptoms can lead to swelling of the penis, or painful erection and urination.
- Paraphimosis is a condition that occurs when the foreskin is retracted behind the head of the penis and can't return to it's original position. Symptoms include pain and swelling of the penis.
You need to be treated by a doctor or other healthcare professional for these penis problems.
RashThe word "rash" means an outbreak of red bumps on the body. The way people use this term, "a rash" can refer to many different skin conditions. The most common of these are scaly patches of skin and red, itchy bumps or patches all over the place.
Reactive ArthritisReactive arthritis is a chronic, systemic rheumatic disease characterized by three conditions, including conjunctivitis, joint inflammation, and genital, urinary, or gastrointestinal system inflammation. Inflammation leads to pain, swelling, warmth, redness, and stiffness of the affected joints. Non-joint areas may experience irritation and pain. Treatment for reactive arthritis depends on which area of the body is affected. Joint inflammation is treated with anti-inflammatory medications.
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STDs in Men Overview
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are infections transmitted during sexual contact. They may be caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites. STDs in men cause no symptoms or symptoms like
genital burning, itching, sores, rashes, or discharge.
Common infections that are sexually transmitted in men include gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, hepatitis C and B, genital warts, human papillomavirus (HPV), and genital herpes.
Some STDs in men are treatable while others are not. STDs are diagnosed with tests that identify proteins or genetic material of the organisms causing the infection. The prognosis of an STD depends on whether the infection is treatable or not. Use of latex condoms can help reduce the risk of contracting an STD but it does not eliminate the risk entirely.
Yeast Infection in Women and Men
Vaginal yeast infections in women are caused by an organism called Candida albicans. Symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection include
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- vaginal discharge,
- odor, and
Treatment is generally OTC medications. A man can contract a yeast infection from his female sexual partner. Symptoms of a yeast infection in men include penile itching. Treatment is with oral or topical medication.