In men, balanitis is a condition that often brings along inflammation that targets the head of the penis (glans). When it affects the prepuce (or the foreskin), this refers to balanoposthitis. Just know that balanitis, as well as balanoposthitis both occur primarily in men who do not go through circumcision (uncircumcised men).
These can occur at the time of infancy as well, or in early childhood in boys, before the foreskin separates from the penis, because of poor hygiene. These conditions usually affect the area under and around the penis foreskin. In most cases, adult circumcision surgery is the appropriate cure. Balanitis is most common in men who are over 40’s, although it can target males at any age; this condition affects about 11% adult men, and 3% younger boys.
Typically, the characteristics of this condition include reddish-orangecolor or a shiny red area, but yellow patches could also show up or frequent colored spotting. Note that bacterial infections often cause balanitis, where men are not able to take care of their penis, meaning this common problem is common in all those men who are unable to maintain proper hygiene in their penis area.
Consider this example, when men go camping, they have no clean water available around to use. The only option they have is to use water that harbors several kinds of bacteria, which can find their way into an uncircumcised penis. At such times, to prevent the accumulation of smegma, and bacterial infections, removal of the foreskin is the best option.
As mentioned above, balanitis occurs in uncircumcised men, and the common symptoms often include, discharge from the penis (this refers to smegma along with foul-smelling odor), tenderness and swelling of the penile head, redness of the glans of the penis. It also causes difficulty when passing out urine, impotence, the inability of the foreskin to retract (leads to phimosis), painful urination, and the inability of the foreskin to return over the penis glans (paraphimosis).
The Causes of Balanitis in Men
Although research suggests that bacteria may be one of the causes of balanitis in men, the actual causes remain somewhat uncertain. Some experts say, infections (could be vital, fungal or bacterial) cause balanitis. Candida is a common fungal infection that is a cause of balanitis. Some of the other viruses or organisms causing balanitis may include strep, human papillomavirus, syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia.
The most reasonable cause of penis disorder balanitis is poor hygiene, which could lead to smegma accumulation (refers to the buildup of body oils and dead cells on the genitals). Eventually, this reduces the chances of the penis to receive proper aeration, which also causes irritation to the penile head. Eventually, it leads to swelling, inflammation,and pain.
When it comes to the contributors to this problem, some include:
- Over-washing of the penis, which could irritate the sensitive foreskin
- Diabetes (one of the underlying causes of the problem)
- Poor hygiene
- Scented shower gels and soaps
- Spermicides and lubricants in condoms
- Fabric softeners and detergents
- Some allergic reaction to medicines
- Not rinsing the penis with water properly
- Penile cancer (although this is a rare cause)
Is Adult Circumcision a Possible Cure?
A Circumcision Center visit is necessary for men who struggle with this problem. In men, circumcision is effective, and a highly recommended treatment option, especially when anti-fungal medications and antibiotics do not actually play their role to control the condition. The procedure involves the removal of the loose, excess skin of the penis, under surgical spotlights.
At the time of the procedure, the surgeon makes small sized incisions on the penis tip, and use dissolvable medical sutures to seal the area. They apply some Vaseline and use a bandage to allow the area to heal. Although this procedure has no risks, in rare cases, post-circumcision could lead to the chance of infections occurring in the incisions, (a common diabetic problem that some men may face). It is suitable that if a patient is diabetic, they should maintain their sugar levels and monitor or control it properly before the procedure. Keep in mind that poor care and management often leads to extended healing time.
Possible Complications (Rare)
Note that the complications with balanitis are rare, but the possible one is the inability of the foreskin to retract from the penis glans. Sometimes, it could also lead to paraphimosis, which is the inability of the foreskin to return over the glans of the penis. Sometimes, the other rare complications that could develop with this condition in includes:
- Cellulitis, this is a bacterial infection that goes into the deep layers of the skin
- Meatal stenosis: abnormal narrow opening at the penis tip
- Increased chances of penile cancer
- Buried penis syndrome, which is a condition where the penis buries beneath the skin folds (a common problem that affects obese men)
- The reduced flow of blood to the glans
- Balanitis xerotica obliterans, which refers to chronic dermatitis of the foreskin and glans of the penis
When considering the adult circumcision surgery, know that your decision is a good one, especially if you wish to stay in good health. Along with keeping balanitis away, circumcision in men can also help to keep away other health-related problems, including UTI’s and STDs.