Balanitis is an irritation of the glans or tip of the penis. It occurs most often in men who are uncircumcised. Men who have diabetes or have a narrowed foreskin that can’t be pulled back easily are also more susceptible to this condition.
CAUSES OF BALANITIS
- a urinary tract infection
- a yeast infection
- a build-up of a skin secretion called smegma
- irritation from clothing
- contraceptive foams or creams
WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT BALANITIS
- Thoroughly wash your penis and scrotum with soap and water twice a day.
- If an irritant such as contraceptive foam or an article of clothing is causing the problem, avoid using it.
- Wash your undergarments in a detergent that is designed for sensitive skin.
- Contact your doctor if your penis is irritated for more than one day. Your doctor can prescribe a soothing ointment to ease the irritation and an antibiotic cream or tablets to treat the infection and relieve the swelling.
THE IMPORTANCE OF GOOD HYGIENE
- Keeping the penis clean is an important step to avoiding balanitis.
- Bathe or shower daily. Wash the penis and scrotum thoroughly with soap and water as you would any other part of your body. If your penis is uncircumcised, don’t forget to pull back the foreskin and clean the head of the penis beneath it.
- Do a visual exam while you’re cleaning. Look for any growths or sores and contact your doctor if you find anything unusual.