Balanitis is an inflammation of the head of the penis. It can happen if there is a buildup of germs under the foreskin. These germs could be bacteria, viruses, or fungi. It can also occur from exposure to soaps and other chemicals. In adults, this is most often a complication of diabetes. It can also be due to obesity or poor genital cleaning habits.
If not treated right away, this can lead to a condition called phimosis. This means you can't pull back the foreskin from the head of the penis.
Symptoms of balanitis may include:
The following guidelines will help you care for your condition at home:
If you can retract your foreskin:
Children. Retract the foreskin and clean with water. Put antibiotic cream or ointment on the penis 3 times a day.
Adults. Retract the foreskin and clean with water. Apply clotrimazole cream to the penis 3 times a day unless another medicine was prescribed. You can buy this cream over the counter. Don't have sex while being treated.
Sitz baths. Soak the penis and foreskin in warm water while there is inflammation.
If you have diabetes, talk with your healthcare provider about keeping your diabetes in good control.
If you are overweight, talk with your provider about a weight-loss plan.
Follow up with your healthcare provider, or as advised.
When to get medical advice
Call your healthcare provider right away if any of these occur:
You can't return the retracted foreskin to the forward position (get medical care right away)
You can't retract the foreskin
Your symptoms get worse
Urine flow is partly or fully blocked
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