Suffering from a swelling in the penis? You may be having Balanitis, a health condition that is common in men. Read on to know all about Balanitis definition, its causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and remedies.
Picture 1 – Penis Anatomy
Source – most-effective-solution
What is Balanitis?
Balanitis is a health syndrome that involves an inflammation of the tip of the penis or Glans Penis. The term is derived from the Greek word “balanos” meaning “acorn”. It is a quite common disease affecting about 3-11% men in the US alone. The disorder can be seen in males of any age group.
If the disease affects the foreskin of the penis, the condition is named as Balanoposthitis.
Balanitis Symptoms in Men
Some of the most common symptoms of balanitis are :
Picture 2 – Balanitis Redness
Source – blogspot
A patient of Balanitis exhibits redness in the penis. In people affected with Balanitis foreskin also becomes red in color. In Balanitis redness is one of the initial symptoms.
The disease gives rise to abnormal rashes on the upper part of the penis.
There is also a discharge from the penis that emits a foul odor.
Pain in Penis
Sufferers also experience pain in the penis and the foreskin. In people with Balanitis pain is very common.
What Causes Balanitis?
Picture 3 – Balanitis Picture
Source - pulsetoday
A number of factors can act as Balanitis causes. These are :
Bad hygiene is a main cause of Balanitis in uncircumcised men. Improper washing of the Glans Penis or washing the groin region with a harsh soap can be a prime reason behind this condition.
In patients of Balanitis bacterial, viral or fungal infection of the skin of the penis can also be a prime cause.
Certain chemicals used for washing clothes can stay on after drying and cause irritation in the skin in the wearer.
Trauma or injury to the skin can also result in an inflammation or swelling of the head of the penis.
People with Diabetes Mellitus are particularly susceptible to this condition. Diabetes is believed to make people more prone to Balanitis.
In case of inflammatory Balanitis yeast infection is often found to be a cause.
In rare cases sexual contact can be a causative factor. Physical intercourse can transmit the infection from an infected person to a non-infected one. It can also injure or inflame the affected region.
The disease is at first visible in the form of small, red eruptions on the Glans Penis. Then the skin takes on a red appearance. The penis turns red in color. Rashes begin to appear on the head of the penis followed by a foul-smelling discharge. In the final stages, the penis and its foreskin become painful.
The diagnosis involves identifying the cause of the condition. Finding out the cause helps in an accurate treatment of the disease. The medical history of the patient and his lifestyle should also be taken into account for a proper diagnosis.
An experienced urologist or dermatologist carries out the diagnosis by physical observation. Skin tests may be needed if the physician suspects an infection as the cause.
In some cases, a skin biopsy may be required.
Treatment of Balanitis depends on the cause of the disease. If an infection causes Balanitis antibiotics in the form of pills and topical creams are needed. In Balanitis treatment antibiotics are very effective. In patients with skin diseases steroidal creams prove to be very effective Balanitis cure.
In case of pain and swelling in the region, doctors prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs for immediate relief.
If a yeast infection leads to Balanitis antifungal creams can be used. For Balanitis treatment creams prove to be very useful. In case of inflammatory balanitis treatment over the counter medicines like Clotrimazole are quite effective. For people with Balanitis Clotrimazole is often recommended.
Picture 4 – Balanitis Treatment (Circumcision)
Source – bmihealthcare
In very severe cases of Balanitis uncircumcised men can go for circumcision. In Balanitis recurring situations, circumcision is the best possible Balanitis natural treatment.
Balanitis Remedies (Home)
Picture 5 – Balanitis Photo
Source – wastington
Balanitis home treatment can include the following :
Following proper hygiene can help you avoid this disease. Regularly washing the penis and cleaning it thoroughly can help in recovering faster from Balanitis.
Keeping away from sexual contact is not usually necessary. However, it is better to stop having any sexual activity until you are completely cured from the disease. As aforesaid, sexual contact can transmit the infection and also inflame the penis.
Avoiding Inflammatory Soaps
If you or your physician suspects any soap or skin lotion that you use to be the cause of Glans Penis inflammation, it is better to stop using those.
You can try these Balanitis home remedies for a faster recovery.
Proper hygiene, medicines and creams are usually very effective in curing the condition. Chances of recovery are usually quite high without surgical method. Surgery is needed only in very severe cases of Balanitis.
Does Balanitis Go Away?
With effective treatment, Balanitis patients usually begin to recover within 3-5 days.
Balanitis can be prevented by following good hygiene and regular washing of the penis and the groin region. Men and children should always pull the foreskin and properly clean the underlying area. Harsh soaps and lotions should be avoided. The area should also be dried to avoid any fungal infection.
If the disease is not properly treated in time, it may result in chronic infection or inflammation of the area. This can lead to painful penis conditions like phimosis, paraphimosis and inhibited blood flow to the penis. The penis aperture can also get scarred and narrowed.
Want to make sure about the appearance of Balanitis? Check out these Balanitis images to know how this condition looks like.
Picture 6 – Balanitis Image
Source – thepractitioner
Picture 7 – Balanitis Picture
Source – sexualhealthbirmingham
If you find symptoms of Balanitis in children or adults in your family or are suffering from them yourself, it is about time you seek medical treatment. Early medical cure will help you make a faster recovery and avoid all painful and complicated processes such as surgery. Balanitis is a highly discomforting and embarrassing condition that can even impair your daily activities. So the sooner you begin the treatment, the better will it be for your health.
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Written by anirudh
on January 25th, 2011. The article was last updated on September 3rd, 2011