It commonly affects boys aged less than 4 years and uncircumcised men- Balanitis

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The inflammation of the end of the penis is known as balanitis. At times, the foreskin is also inflamed at the same time as the glans. Balanitis is common and it can occur at any age. It commonly affects boys aged less than 4 years and also men who have not been circumcised. It is very rare in men who have been circumcised.

Symptoms
Swelling and redness of the foreskin Tightened foreskin Discharge Itchy genitals Pain in the genital area Painful skin on the penis Painful urination.

 

Causes
Poor hygiene: poor hygiene around this area, combined with a tight foreskin, can lead to irritation by smegma. This is the most common cause of balanitis. Infection – not sexually transmitted: germs (bacteria) that live on the skin in small numbers may multiply and cause infection. A common cause of infection is with a yeast called candida. Infection – sexually transmitted: an STI is more likely if you also have inflammation of the tube (urethra) that passes out urine (a condition called urethritis). Allergy and irritants: the skin of the glans is sensitive. It may react and become inflamed if it comes into contact with various chemicals or other substances.

Diagnosis
It can be easily diagnosed by the red and inflamed look of the end of the penis (the glans). However, if the doctor is not sure about the cause, or the balanitis does not clear with treatment, one or more of the following tests may be suggested: Test for certain germs (bacteria) that can cause infection. Diabetes test Genitourinary investigation Biopsy may be suggested.

 

Treatment
Avoid soaps when inflammation is present. You can use a moisturising cream or ointment (an emollient) to clean instead of soap.
Use lukewarm water to clean your penis and then dry gently Use of anti-yeast cream or a course of anti-yeast tablets if it is caused by candida Use of antibiotics to clear infection caused by germs (bacteria), including certain STIs. Use of mild steroid cream to reduce inflammation caused by allergies or irritants.

 

Prevention
Wash the end of the penis on daily basis. If symptoms are related to condom use, then use a condom which is designed for sensitive skin Wash your hands before going to the toilet if you work with chemicals which can irritate delicate skin Use a condom each and every time you have sex with a new sexual partner



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