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Balanitis and posthitis is a health problem associated with the occurrence of inflammation on penile and / or foreskin.
Balanitis and posthitis can occur at any age but usually occurs in boys to the age of four, and in adult men who were not circumcised. The disease may take the form of infectious and non-infectious. Additionally, it is a very common problem in patients with phimosis or diabetes.
Chronic inflammation of the glans and foreskin increases the risk of chronic dermatitis, phimosis, Paraphimosis or cancer.
The type of inflammation is inflammation of the glans circinate (circular, balanitis circinata), which is one of the symptoms of other diseases such as psoriasis.
The symptoms of balanitis and posthitis
Among the main symptoms appear balanitis and posthitis are:
- redness around the glans (head of the penis)
- inflammation of the glans,
- soreness of the glans,
- irritation of the glans,
- appearance under the foreskin, irregular, thick mucus,
- itching sensation around the glans,
- unpleasant smell,
- phimosis – a problem with moving the foreskin,
- pain during urination.
Some of the symptoms of the disease are similar to those associated with the emergence of sexually transmitted diseases, or thrush.
Causes of inflammation of the glans and foreskin are different and should be mention here:
- skin diseases as lichen planus, eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis,
- the penile irritation caused by certain chemical substances contained in the condoms, detergents (such as laundry detergents), cosmetics (perfumed soaps, shower gels),
- bacterial infections that proliferated contribute to the formation of inflammation,
- fungal infections,
- excessive hygiene – depriving the glans and foreskin protective barrier,
- diabetes – increased the susceptibility to infection, especially if the blood sugar is poorly controlled so that the level of glucose in the urine increases,
- phimosis – too tight foreskin, makes it difficult to maintain personal hygiene, which accumulated dirt, it contributes to the accumulation of germs,
- unprotected sex – infections can be transmitted sexually.
Diagnosis and treatment of balanitis and posthitis
Balanitis and posthitis are relatively easy to diagnose condition because the onset of symptoms is usually unambiguous. However, to ensure efficient treatment of the disease, it is necessary to perform more detailed research as:
- a swab from the glans, which will assess the type of infection,
- urine test – if it is suspected diabetes,
- blood tests – to determine the level of glucose,
- biopsy – rarely used in exceptional cases.
Treatment depends on the cause, but in most cases, the doctor advises which substances should be avoided, and gives tips on the proper hygiene of the glans and foreskin.
If the cause of inflammation of the glans and the foreskin is an allergic reaction, it is prescribed a mild steroid cream. In cases of infection is used antifungals and antibiotics.
It is important to avoid potential irritating factors during the treatment until the symptoms disappear completely.
If it is necessary, the physician directs the patient to a dermatologist, who will help identify other causes of inflammation. On the other hand, with the problems of phimosis, the doctor may suggest surgery.