What is Balanoposthitis?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon
Balanoposthitis causes the foreskin of the penis to become inflamed.
Balanoposthitis causes the foreskin of the penis to become inflamed.

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.

Balanoposthitis includes the inflammation of the glans part of the penis.
Balanoposthitis includes the inflammation of the glans part of the penis.

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.

Antibiotics can be prescribed to treat balanoposthitis.
Antibiotics can be prescribed to treat balanoposthitis.

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.

Balanoposthitis may be treated with circumcision.
Balanoposthitis may be treated with circumcision.

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.

Untreated balanoposthitis can interfere with a couple's attempt at conceiving a child.
Untreated balanoposthitis can interfere with a couple's attempt at conceiving a child.

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.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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    • Balanoposthitis causes the foreskin of the penis to become inflamed.
      Balanoposthitis causes the foreskin of the penis to become inflamed.
    • Balanoposthitis includes the inflammation of the glans part of the penis.
      Balanoposthitis includes the inflammation of the glans part of the penis.
    • Antibiotics can be prescribed to treat balanoposthitis.
      Antibiotics can be prescribed to treat balanoposthitis.
    • Balanoposthitis may be treated with circumcision.
      Balanoposthitis may be treated with circumcision.
    • Untreated balanoposthitis can interfere with a couple's attempt at conceiving a child.
      Untreated balanoposthitis can interfere with a couple's attempt at conceiving a child.
    • Untreated balanoposthitis may increase the risk of developing certain cancers.
      Untreated balanoposthitis may increase the risk of developing certain cancers.
    • A lack of personal hygiene may contribute to the development of balanoposthitis.
      A lack of personal hygiene may contribute to the development of balanoposthitis.
    • Underlying conditions like diabetes may be connected with balanoposthitis.
      Underlying conditions like diabetes may be connected with balanoposthitis.