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What is Balanoposthitis?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Kristen Osborne
  • Last Modified Date: 21 August 2016
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Balanoposthitis is an inflammation of the glans and foreskin of the penis. It can occur in patients of all ages and may have infectious or non-infectious causes. Untreated balanoposthitis can increase the risk of cancers and interfere with fertility. This condition can be treated by a urologist or a general practitioner and usually treatment is an outpatient procedure that can be performed in a clinic or doctor's office.

This condition is a combination of balanitis, an inflammation of the glans, and posthitis, an inflammation of the foreskin, also known as the prepuce. Patients with balanoposthitis usually experience soreness and irritation and may observe a discharge at the site. Visual changes such as redness and rough skin can also be seen. There may also be a rash in the groin if the inflammation has been left untreated.

One reason for a patient to develop balanoposthitis is an infection with viruses, bacteria, or yeasts. People can also develop inflammation as a result of a tight prepuce, a condition which is usually treated with circumcision. Underlying medical conditions such as diabetes and connective tissue disorders can also be associated with balanoposthitis. People who are at special risk of inflammation and infection may be advised to use special care to prevent and rapidly address any inflammations thatwhich flare up.

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When a patient sees a doctor for balanoposthitis, the doctor may need to take a sample for laboratory analysis. This can be used to determine whether or not microorganisms are present. If they are, the inflammation can be treated with medications that will kill these organisms. Antiinflammatory drugs can also be prescribed to reduce pain and swelling and the doctor may recommend some hygiene steps, which can be taken to keep the area clean to promote healing and increase patient comfort.

If the cause is non-infectious, the doctor needs to determine what it is in order to provide the most appropriate treatment. Treating an underlying condition may resolve the issue. In the event the patient has recurrent balanoposthitis or posthitis, the doctor may recommend circumcision to prevent future episodes of inflammation.

Prevention of balanoposthitis involves scrupulous hygiene for the genitals and the surrounding area. In uncircumcised men, it is important to clean the penis thoroughly to prevent the growth of microorganisms. The warm, wet folds of this particular area of the male reproductive tract are very appealing to many organisms and poor hygiene will attract unwanted guests.

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