The disease balanitis pertains to male gender. Balanitis is inflammation of glans, a medical term for the head of the penis. Many times in balanitis, the foreskin (lose skin that covers the head of penis) also gets swollen together with the head of penis. Balanitis can occur at any age, the condition is common among boys under the age of 4 years, and in uncircumcised adult male. Balanitis is an unsightly and painful condition. Boys may find difficulty while urinating and adult men may face pain while performing a sexual act.
Poor hygiene is one of the most common causes for balanitis in boys as well as in men. It is usually a problem amongst uncircumcised men and young boys. The area under the foreskin (prepuce) needs to be cleaned daily with warm water. If the foreskin is tight and cannot be retracted back for cleaning the head of penis, it can lead to build up of smegma, a white cheesy substance produced by the glands of penis. The cheesy material around the penis can initiate irritation and inflammation of the head of penis giving rise to condition called balanitis.
Other causes include: fungal infection or thrush, diabetic individual are at a risk of developing this condition. If you are an adult male having soreness, inflammation and redness on the head of penis, it is always advisable to examine your blood sugar level, as some times balanitis is the first symptom noted amongst undetected diabetics.
Unprotected sex with a woman having vaginal moniliasis (fungus infection) can give rise to balanitis in men.
Certain STD’s such as gonorrhea, genital herpes infection can cause balanitis.
Skin allergies due to soaps can also cause the inflammation of the glans penis. For this reason, it is always better to clean the head of penis with warm water rather than applying soap.
Irritation from latex condom can be a reason for balanitis in adult men.
Skin disease such as atopic eczema or psoriasis can cause balanitis.
What are the Common Symptoms of Balanitis
The symptoms of balanitis may depend on how severe the condition is. Sometimes all the symptoms discussed below may not be present in a person. Following are the symptoms noted in case of balanitis.
- Redness around the head of the penis.
- There may be associated ulceration on the tip of penis.
- The head of penis becomes swollen.
- Pain and irritation on the head of the penis.
- You may find thick white cheesy material under the fore skin.
- Peeling, itching of the foreskin as well as the skin of the glans penis.
- Difficulty in retracting the foreskin. You may find tight foreskin a condition called phimosis.
- There is bad odor around the penis.
- Painful urination.
Home Remedies for Treating Inflamed Glans or Head of Penis
Balanitis is completely curable condition. Before starting the treatment it is important to known what the reason for balanitis is. If it is caused due to phimosis (a condition where you cannot pull back your foreskin completely) doctors suggest removal of the foreskin, the operation is commonly known as circumcision.
If the cause is due to fungus infection, there are different anti fungal ointments that can be applied on the head of the penis two times in a day. Before applying the ointment, clean the area with warm water and dry it with a clean cloth.
After urinating, dry the wet surface on the head of the penis, before you slide the foreskin.
Use lubricating condom instead of latex condom to prevent latex allergy if you are known to have latex allergy.
For gonnorhea and other STD infection, you may have to take prescribed antibiotics.
Certain home remedies are useful in treating balanitis:
- Apply thin layer of yogurt on the head of the penis. Just pull back the foreskin before applying yogurt so that you can apply it properly.
- Put some salt in your bath tub before you immerse to take the bath.
- Aloe vera gel is effective in treating the condition.
- Garlic paste or eat garlic when the reason is fungus infection.