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What is a Balanitis?

What is Balanitis?

Balanitis is a urological condition that affects the penis. This condition involves the inflammation of the head of the penis, or the glans due to an infection or some other cause. In most cases, Balanitis is quite manageable and isn’t a cause of distress. However, in some cases, it can cause discomforting balanitis symptoms that can affect a person’s quality of life.

This condition is relatively more common in uncircumcised individuals. Circumcision is a procedure that involves removal of the foreskin of the penis from its head (the glans). This condition isn’t contagious, and does not qualify as a Sexually transmitted disease (STI).

How does Balanitis Form?

How does Balanitis Form?

Balanitis generally forms in uncircumcised men as infections, both yeast, and bacteria, get the ideal environment under the foreskin to grow. Additionally, it also affects men with phimosis, a condition that causes the foreskin to become tight and difficult to retract. Poor hygiene, scabies, and STDs are some other reasons that lead to the formation of balanitis.

Types of disease

Zoon's Balanitis

Zoon's Balanitis

Circinate Balanitis

Circinate Balanitis

PKM Balanitis (PKMB)

PKM Balanitis (PKMB)

Causes of Balanitis

  • Poor hygiene of the penis
  • Yeast infection (candidiasis)
  • Scabies infection
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Allergy or sensitivity to soaps or chemicals
  • Psoriasis and eczema
  • Diabetes
  • Reactive arthritis


  • Pain & Irritation on the glans (head of penis)
  • Redness & patchiness on penis
  • Swelling
  • Itchy foreskin
  • White/Shiny areas on the penis
  • Foul smell
  • Pain while urinating
  • Smegma i.e., White discharge under foreskin
  • Sores on the glans


Most balanitis symptoms are visible and recognizable. Therefore, Balanitis can be diagnosed easily during a physical examination. However, your healthcare provider might suggest some other tests to determine the cause of the disease. The tests suggested by your doctor will depend entirely upon your symptoms. These tests can include:

  • A swab of your urethral opening to check for STIs and other infections
  • Urinalysis to check for signs of infection or diabetes
  • Blood tests to rule out infections, diabetes, and other conditions
  • Skin scraping sample to look for mites under a microscope

Risks & Complications

The possibility of risks and complications after circumcision surgery is quite low. However, it does not mean it can’t cause any complications at all. Therefore, listed below are some possible risks and complications associated with circumcision surgery that you must be aware of:

  • Bleeding: Some patients may experience bleeding from the incision after the procedure. Consult a doctor if it does not subside on its own.
  • Infection: The incision stands the risk of getting infected which may stretch the recovery period.
  • Foreskin issues: In some cases, complications with foreskin might occur. The surgeon might leave the foreskin too short or too long which can lead to additional problems.
  • If the surgeon fails to perform the procedure intricately, the foreskin could reattach to the penis improperly. This condition can be quite distressing for the patient and may require another surgery.
  • Reattachment: The foreskin could reattach to the penis improperly. This condition can be very uncomfortable and may require more surgery.
  • Wound complications: If wound healing is affected, it can cause skin issues or problematic circumcision scars.
  • Allergic reaction to anesthesia: Some patients are allergic to anesthesia. Since all circumcision surgeries are performed under the influence of anesthesia, the possibility of developing a reaction to it can’t be ignored. The usual symptoms of this reaction include nausea, vomiting, and headache.

  • Prevention

    How to prevent balanitis from getting worse?


    Balanitis is manageable in most cases, if the affected individual follows some care tips. Listed below are some Do’s of Balanitis that will help you manage this disease and prevent it from turning serious:

    • Wash your penis every day
    • Gently pull back your foreskin and wash the area with warm water
    • Dry gently after washing
    • Only use condoms that are designed for sensitive skin
    • Wash your hands before peeing or touching your penis

When to consult a doctor?

Balanitis can be caused due to different factors and may not put you in distress for a long time. However, a doctor’s intervention becomes essential when the condition starts showing symptoms that can affect your day-to-day life. If you suspect Balanitis, it’s advisable to see a doctor to get timely treatment. Timely diagnosis can also help rule out the possibility of serious illnesses, such as sexually transmitted infections.

Consult a doctor for Balanitis if you experience the following symptoms:

  • Excessive pain & irritation on the glans (head of the penis)
  • Sores on the glans
  • Redness, swelling, and patchiness on penis
  • Itching on the foreskin
  • White/Shiny areas on the penis
  • Irritation while urinating
  • Smegma, i.e., White discharge under the foreskin

Questions to ask your doctor?

What might have caused the condition?
What is the best treatment for me?
Can Balanitis go away on its own?
Can this condition return after treatment?
What will be the recovery time after treatment?
What signs indicate Balanitis complications?

Balanitis Treatment Overview

Balanitis symptoms and severity may vary from person to person. The course of Balanitis treatment depends upon the cause of the irritation, and the severity of the condition. Doctors generally use non-surgical methods to treat this condition, especially when it’s in the initial stages. Some common non-surgical treatment options for Balanitis include:

  • Antibiotics: As discussed, STD infections are a leading cause of Balanitis. So, your doctor might suggest antibiotics for treatment, based on the type of infection.
  • Anti-fungal creams: If the cause of your balanitis infection is a yeast infection, then the doctor might prescribe anti-fungal creams to help you get rid of the infection. They will also give you directions on how to use these creams.
  • Diabetes management: Balanitis is also common in people suffering from diabetes. Therefore, the doctor might help you manage your diabetes.
Insurance coverage

Insurance coverage

Like most surgeries, Balanitis surgery is also covered under insurance. At Pristyn Care we offer complete insurance assistance and have a dedicated team that helps patients throughout the claim process. To know more about the insurance coverage of Balanitis, get in touch with our medical coordinators.

Insurance coverage

Video testimonial - by patient

Video on the disease and treatment - by Pristyn Care doctor


Is Balanitis surgery painful?

Balanitis surgery generally isn’t very painful, as it is performed under anesthesia. Pain caused after the surgery can be managed with pain-relieving medicines.

Does Balanitis always require circumcision?

No. The doctor will run some diagnostic tests to check for the extent of the disease. If the condition is too serious to be treated with medicines, the doctor might suggest surgery.

Can Balanitis be prevented?

Balintis can be prevented by taking some precautionary measures such as maintaining proper hygiene such as washing your hands properly before touching the penis, drying the penis gently after washing.

Can Balanitis cure itself?

In most cases, Balanitis goes away on its own and does not cause any issues. However, if it shows severe symptoms, medical intervention becomes requisite.