Balanitis: What is it?


Balanitis is an inflammatory condition of the head of the penis. It can be painful and occur commonly in young males and some uncircumcised men.

One in 25 boys and young men get balanitis at some point in their lives.

Symptoms of Balanitis

  • Redness of foreskin or penis
  • Other rashes on the head of the penis
  • Foul-smelling discharge
  • Painful penis and foreskin
  • Itching and swelling of the foreskin
  • White discharge under the foreskin
  • Painful urination

Sores or lesions on the glans is a rare symptom of balanitis that affects men over age 60

Causes of Balanitis

Balanitis is mostly due to poor hygiene in uncircumcised men.

Other possible causes include the following:

  • Diseases (Reactive arthritis and Psoriasis)
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Genital Infections
  • Harsh soaps
  • Not rinsing the soap off properly while bathing
  • Uncontrolled Diabetes

Balanitis is also due to phimosis, a skin condition that accumulates sweat, debris, and urine, allowing germs to multiply.

Diagnosis of Balanitis

Your doctor will diagnose balanitis during a physical examination because of the visible symptoms.

Tests to determine the cause include:

  • Urinary test if diabetes is suspected
  • A blood test to check glucose levels
  • A swab of your urethral opening to check for infections
  • Skin scraping sample to examine for mites under a microscope

Your doctor can easily diagnose balanitis by observing symptoms like redness and inflamed look of glans.

Tips to Prevent Balanitis

  • Bath regularly and make sure you clean under your foreskin and dry thoroughly
  • Avoid using chemicals on and around your genitals (soaps, detergents, or perfumes)
  • Dry the area under the foreskin after urinating so urine doesn’t become trapped under the foreskin
  • Use condoms or other protective methods when you engage in sexual activity

If you are suffering from balanitis, visit your doctor at the earliest.

Treatment of Balanitis

Treatment of balanitis usually begins with improving your genital hygiene and avoiding irritants like perfumes.

Other treatment options include:

  • Antifungal creams for the treatment of yeast infections that cause balanitis
  • Properly controlling blood sugar levels will strengthen the body’s immunity. Your doctor will provide measures on managing the sugar levels in case of recurring symptoms of balanitis
  • Antibiotic pills or creams help to treat balanitis caused by bacteria
  • Steroid creams help to reduce the inflammation caused by allergies or irritants

In case of recurring symptoms of balanitis, your doctor may recommend circumcision, a surgical procedure to remove the foreskin.

Foods That Help in Treating Balanitis

Several foods help in the treatment of infections causing balanitis.

  • Including yogurt in your diet increases the growth of favorable bacteria in your body and thus helps fight off infections
  • Incorporating garlic into our diet can help balance the bacteria-causing yeast infections that lead to balanitis
  • Ginger is enriched with anti-microbial and is very effective in preventing inflammation of any kind
  • Apple cider vinegar relieves swelling and pain of balanitis. It can be sour and acidic, so mix with a bit of water or drink it with a straw

These foods boost our immune and balance the bacteria already present in the glans.

FAQ’S ON Balanitis

Can balanitis be cured permanently?

YES, balanitis is an entirely curable condition.

Can balanitis lead to death?

NO! Balanitis is not a critical condition. But you should not ignore the symptoms.