What is balanitis?
Balanitis is defined as the inflammation of the head of the penis (glans) and or the foreskin on the head of the penis. This is very common condition in uncircumcised men. Some medical experts are more precise when using balanitis. They use balanitis to refer to the inflammation of the penis head alone. When the foreskin on penis head is inflamed, they term it as Posthitis. A condition when both the foreskin and penis glans are inflamed, it is called balanoposthitis. Read more on balanitis.
Can balanitis cause erectile dysfunction?
Yes, the pain caused by the inflamed foreskin on the penis multiplies when you are having an erection. This hampers the thought of sex and having an erection possibly leading to erectile dysfunction.
Can balanitis cause death?
No. Balanitis is not such a critical condition. At the same time, it should not be ignored and left untreated. If you leave your balanitis problem undiagnosed and untreated, it can spread and the pain may become intolerable.
Can balanitis be cured permanently?
Yes, balanitis is a completely curable problem. You may be put on antibiotics or other medicines like creams or ointments to treat the problem. Kind of permanent solution to balanitis is circumcision.
Can balanitis spread to others?
This is a tricky question. The answer depends on what caused balanitis.
- If balanitis is due to normal bacterial infection or due to the usage of any chemical (used in soap etc), this is considered non-contagious.
- If balanitis is caused by an STI, yes, the STI and the microbes present in the foreskin are transmitted to the other person. Here only the microbes are transmitted but not the disease.
- Certain bacteria, fungi or viruses cause balanitis and that is contagious.
What causes balanitis?
- Improper hygiene.
- Usage of soaps, lubricants that are filled with harmful chemicals
- Men with diabetes are at increased risk of developing balanitis. The glucose in urine encourages the growth of microbes.
- Reactive arthritis can cause balanitis
- Sexually transmitted infections can cause balanitis.
How long does it take to cure balanitis?
Once the treatment is started, it usually takes 5 to 7 days for complete healing, provided you get in touch with an experienced sexologist.
How to avoid balanitis?
- Keep the penis and the glans clean at all times. When washing your genitals, pull back the foreskin (if uncircumcised) and clean the head of the penis and the ‘neck’ with mild soap and water so that all deposits of smegma is washed away.
- Use condom when having sex with a not so familiar person. This can prevent you from acquiring STI and also balanitis causing microbes.
When to see a good doctor for balanitis?
If the head of your penis or the foreskin on it is inflamed and doesn’t subside or go away in 3 days, you should then see a good sexologist to treat balanitis. If you had unprotected sex a few days earlier, you need to mention it to your doctor.
What causes balanitis in toddlers?
Causes of balanitis in toddlers are the same as in adults except the STI part. Improper hygiene leading to deposits of smegma, not washing the penis and genitals regularly and using soaps, gels made with harmful or irritating chemicals.
Can circumcised men get balanitis?
Yes. No one is exempt from acquiring balanitis. However, the risk is greater in uncircumcised men. For instance, STI can cause balanitis and that is not dependent on the existence of foreskin on the penis.
Is balanitis a serious condition?
No. Balanitis is not a serious or life threatening condition. Leaving balanitis unattended or untreated can lead to spreading the problem to others and may be a painful condition.
Will balanitis go away after circumcision?
If the cause of balanitis is due to unhygienic habits, circumcision can help as the chances of smegma deposition are reduced. But, you are still at risk if you are participating in unprotected sex.
Is circumcision necessary to treat balanitis?
No. Circumcision need not be done to treat balanitis. But, in case of recurring balanitis and if you are not in the habit of keeping your penis clean at all times, you should go for circumcision.
Does foreskin still remain after circumcision?
No, the foreskin is completely removed during circumcision. The rest of the skin will be attached to the shaft of your penis shaft without any lose skin like before.