Balanitis is inflammation of the head of the penis. It’s very common, especially if you have an uncircumcised penis. It can be very painful.
Balanitis is a symptom of other health issues. Getting quick relief from the discomfort might be your top priority, but even an effective balanitis cure won’t address the whole problem. It’s important to be sure that you get the right treatment to cure any underlying conditions.
Symptoms of balanitis include:
- Discharge under the foreskin, sometimes accompanied by a foul smell
- Bleeding around foreskin
- Difficulty retracting the foreskin
- Sores on head of the penis
- Pain when urinating
There is no quick cure for balanitis. The pain and swelling are usually caused by a skin infection that won’t resolve without medication. In some cases, the discomfort is due to an allergic reaction. If so, your doctor can help you find the cause of your symptoms and help you treat them quickly:
How is balanitis treated?
Treatment for genital pain will depend on what is causing it. Your doctor will examine your penis and may need to swab the skin and send it to the lab for diagnosis. They will also ask about your recent health and sexual history to determine what’s leading to balanitis.
Sexually transmitted diseases such as herpes, chlamydia, or syphilis can cause swelling, sore or pain in your penis. The symptoms of some STDs go away, but the underlying infection can linger. You can spread the STD to your partner if you don't have it treated. If you suspect you have an STD, call your doctor for testing and treatment.
You will need to see your doctor for antibiotics if you have a bacterial infection. They will prescribe either an oral antibiotic or a topical cream that you can apply directly to your penis.
Fungal infections, such as yeast infections, will require an anti-fungal medication. Your doctor can prescribe an oral treatment. They may recommend a cream or ointments that you can apply to the skin.
If you have an allergic reaction to something that touched your penis, you should stop using it as soon as possible. Soaps, laundry detergents, and spermicides can all cause allergic reactions. Your doctor may suggest a steroid cream to soothe swelling and itching. Antihistamines might help stop the reaction and reduce symptoms.
Circumcision for balanitis
If you have multiple episodes of balanitis, you may need surgery to prevent recurrences. Circumcision is an effective treatment for repeated cases of balanitis. Your doctor will remove your foreskin, which reduces the chances of bacterial or fungal infections that lead to swelling and pain.
Good hygiene will reduce your chances of developing balanitis. You should wash your penis with warm water and mild soap. Retract your foreskin and clean underneath it. You can also pull it back again to pat the area dry after washing.
You may find that soaps with fragrances irritate your penis. If this happens, choose unscented body washes. If you have balanitis due to allergic reactions, you may also want to switch to a laundry detergent without fragrances or dyes. Wash your underwear frequently with gentle detergents.
If you already have symptoms of balanitis, hygiene is not a cure for the underlying cause. You can continue to keep your penis clean during a bout of balanitis. Cool water and gentle washing may make irritated skin feel better, but it won’t treat infection of the skin.
You should talk to your doctor about treatment. The fastest cure for balanitis is the cure that addresses the cause of your discomfort.
Treating discomfort from balanitis
There may be steps you can take to ease the pain and swelling in your penis. Ask your doctor if you can take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines to bring down the swelling and control the pain. Cold compresses on your penis or baths with Epsom salts may make you more comfortable. If you have open sores or broken skin on your penis, ask your doctor before putting anything on your skin.
If you have swelling or pain in your penis, you should get medical attention. If you try to treat the problem yourself, you may not successfully clear up any infections or irritations. You could end up with worse pain and swelling. In extreme cases, you could experience permanent damage to your penis that causes problems with urination or sexual function.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Advanced Urology: "What is Balanitis and How Is It Treated?"
American Family Physician: "Adult Circumcision."
National Health Service: "Balanitis."
Top What Is the Fastest Way to Cure Balanitis Related Articles
Balanitis (Inflammation of the Head of the Penis)
Balanitis is a condition in which the skin of the head of the penis becomes inflamed. If the foreskin is also inflamed, it is referred to as balanoposthitis. Balanitis usually occurs in uncircumcised males with symptoms of pain, swelling, and redness at the head of the penis. Often, balanitis is caused by poor hygiene or some medical conditions such as diabetes, and yeast infections. Treatment for balanitis is directed at the cause of the condition and may include creams or other medications.
Balanitis is not an STD; however, it may have similar symptoms.
Is Balanitis an STD and Will it Go Away on its Own?Balanitis is a painful inflammation of the head of the penis. Balanitis is a symptom, not a condition and it can be caused by a sexually transmitted disease (STD).
Is Balanitis Contagious?Balanitis 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, cirrhosis, morbid obesity, poor personal hygiene, diabetes, and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
Signs and symptoms of balanitis are itching, swelling, redness, and tenderness around the head of the penis and the surrounding foreskin.
19 Health Problems in Men: Snoring, Hair Loss, and MoreWhat are the biggest body health issues that plague men? Most men struggle with belly fat, back hair, sweating, erectile dysfunction, hair loss, body odor, or bad breath at some point. Get tips on dealing with male body problems and the prevention of common issues in men's health.
Men's HealthMen's health is an important component to a happy lifestyle and healthy relationships. Eating healthy, exercise, managing stress, and knowing when to have medical tests for a particular age is key to disease prevention in men.
Men's Health: Guys, Don't Make These 10 Health MistakesAre you making these common mistakes when it comes to your health? WebMD shows you how to be smartwer when it comes to seeing the doctor
Penis DisordersPenis disorders (male reproductive problems) include priapism, Peyronie's disease, balanitis, phimosis, paraphimosis, and penile cancer. Read on for causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment. These disorders can affect a man's fertility and sexual functioning. A variety of treatments are available for these disorders.
Should I Be Worried if I Have Balanitis?Balanitis, or pain and swelling around the glans of the penis, is a common condition. You should not be worried about balanitis, but you should see a doctor and get treatment so your discomfort goes away.
Types of Penis DisordersPenis disorders may affect men’s sexual life, fertility and overall well-being. Some are minor and don’t cause many issues. However, some may lead to serious emergencies. There are many different types of penis disorders.
What Triggers Balanitis and How Long Does It Last?