What is Balanitis?
Balanitis is a condition that affects the penis and can occur in males of all ages. There are certain conditions that put males at higher risk than others for having this condition, but it can occur with any male. Basically it is characterized as a rash on the penis. There can also be an unpleasant odor that emanates from the rash and in some cases there can be pain. A doctor can usually diagnose this medical condition with a visual examination, but there are some circumstances in which skin samples will need to be taken for lab testing to confirm the condition. If a doctor does diagnose with a physical examination, he will probably inquire about your family history as well as your own medical history as it relates to this condition. Often this condition can run in the family as certain males or more prone to have it than others.
The Cause of Balanitis
There are several causes for this condition and the specific cause for a particular male is not always apparent. It can be from an injury or an allergic reaction to a soap. However, for most males, the root cause of the problem is infection, and in many cases this is due to a lack of hygiene. Males who are uncircumcised suffer from Balanitis in greater percentages that circumcised males. This is usually due to lack of attention to the cleaning of the inside of the foreskin, but also there can be an allergic reaction to soaps that cause this rash to occur. In this latter case, hygiene is not the problem and a milder soap will usually take car of the rash.
Treatment for Balanitis
There are several treatments available for Balanitis and which one that you will need will be dependent upon the cause of the condition. If the Balanitis is from infection, then the course of treatment will be a combination of cleaning and applying of topical creams. These anti-fungal creams will work to destroy the bacterial infection while preventing the condition from spreading. For males who have a swelling that accompanies the rash, there are creams available with anti-inflammatory ingredients. This will help reduce the swelling and reduce any pain that may exist. The pain that is associated with this condition is usually the result of the inflammation. For adult males, sexual contact should be avoided while undergoing balanitis treatment. Although it is rare to transmit the infection through sex, it can occur.
When to See a Doctor
If you have any serious pain you should see a doctor. For most males the worst feeling is that of discomfort while others experience nothing at all. Because an infection is the number one cause of Balanitis, it can usually be treated yourself with a combination of cleaning and topical creams that are available over-the-counter at your local drug store. This is usually an effective way to treat the problem and definitely cheaper than seeing a doctor. In most situations, this is the path to take for balanitis treatment, but like any medical condition that you treat yourself, if the condition persists, see a doctor immediately.