Balanitis means inflammation of the glans penis (head of the penis). Sometimes, the foreskin and the rotating shaft of the penis can be affected also. Balanitis is a frequent condition, which may be caused due to various ailments like poor hygiene, infection with candida (thrush), bacterial infections, certain sexually transmitted diseases, skin irritation due to additives, compounds in condom etc.. Most cases respond well to therapy.
Prognosis of balanitis
Balanitis caused due to skin irritation responds well to treatment with topical corticosteroid (steroid cream or ointment). You’ll be advised to use the lotion to the mind of your penis once or twice per day until the symptoms resolve. In most cases, the symptoms subside in a few days. The medicine should not be used for more than 14 days in a row as steroids (even when used locally) can cause side-effects such as itchy skin and a skin rash.
Balanitis because of fungal disease is treated with either an antifungal cream such as imidazole or an oral antifungal medicine (capsule or pill) such as fluconazole. Individuals with balanitis due to fungal infection are treated with a seven-day class of oral antibiotics (antibiotic pills or capsules). The symptoms respond well to treatment in a few days. If the symptoms are severe or troublesome, a seven-day course of a topical corticosteroid (like cream or ointment) may be needed also.
Complications happen rarely in balanitis. Some complications of balanitis due to chronic inflammation or disease include:
- Stricture of meatus-scarring and narrowing of the opening of the penis.
- Phimosis-difficulty in retraction that the foreskin or pain while retraction of foreskin to expose the tip of their penis.
- Paraphimosis-difficulty in repositioning the foreskin over the head of their penis.
Most cases can be prevented by practicing good personal hygiene (like cleaning extra urine from the end of the penis after urinating) and preventing skin irritation (such as having a condom specifically made for sensitive skin, using biological washing powder to clean your underwear) etc..)