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Foreskin infection or posthitis

What is foreskin infection or posthitis?

As the name suggests, foreskin infection or posthitis is a bacterial or fungal infection that causes inflammation of the penis foreskin. This condition generally isn’t a cause of concern for men. However, in some cases, it can cause significant discomfort and require treatment.

This condition generally occurs along with balanitis (inflammation of the head of the penis). Posthitis isn’t an STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease); therefore, it isn’t very dangerous. However, leaving it untreated for too long can cause the condition to aggravate and may also worsen your symptoms.

How does foreskin infection form?

How does foreskin infection form?

Foreskin infection or Posthitis can affect anyone at any given point in time. The condition can cause serious discomfort if it’s not treated in time. In general, it affects uncircumcised men and may occur due to several factors, including:

  • Bacterial or fungal infections
  • Poor hygiene
  • Sexually transmitted diseases.

Posthitis is also common in men who are suffering from phimosis. Those who do not clean their foreskin regularly or have sensitivity under their foreskin are also at an increased risk of developing foreskin infection. Apart from this, rubbing the foreskin vigorously also puts you at risk of developing this condition.

Causes

  • Bacterial infections
  • Fungal infections
  • STD's
  • Phimosis
  • Psoriasis
  • Eczema
  • Allergies to latex, lubricants, etc.
  • Dermatitis
  • Poor hygiene

Symptoms

  • Pain
  • Inflammation of Edema (swelling)
  • Tenderness
  • Itching
  • Smegma or foul-smelling discharge
  • Discoloration of the skin that may resemble a rash
  • Difficulty peeing in severe cases

Diagnosis

Posthitis can be diagnosed conveniently through a physical examination. Doctors generally perform a physical examination of the condition and ask patients about the symptoms they’re experiencing and their medical history. Sometimes, a doctor may ask the patient to get a swab test. This test helps determine the cause of the inflammation and plan the treatment accordingly. In a few cases, the doctor might also suggest urine, which also helps them understand the cause of the condition and rule out diabetes.

When to consult a doctor?

Posthitis generally vanishes within a week without medical management. However, seeking treatment for this condition becomes important if:

  • The symptoms fail to reduce even after a week
  • The symptoms aggravate
  • Posthitis is recurring
  • You notice bleeding or discharge

Questions to ask your doctor .

What has caused my Posthitis?
Is it safe to have sex if I have Posthitis?
Can posthitis be managed through medicines?
Will I require surgery?
Can posthitis lead to other conditions as well?

Treatment

The only surgery available for posthitis is circumcision i.e., the procedure was performed to remove the foreskin completely. While the purpose of circumcision is removing the foreskin, it can be done through different procedures. The most commonly performed circumcision procedures are as follows:

  • Open circumcision surgery: This is the conventional and invasive method of circumcision, which is still performed in a lot of cases. In this method, the surgeons use a scalpel to remove the foreskin and cauterize or stitch it back with dissolvable sutures. This procedure is performed under general or local anesthesia. Any pain after the procedure is manageable with pain-relieving medicines.
  • Laser circumcision surgery: This is a minimally-invasive method of surgery that causes minimal to no discomfort to the patient. It does not involve incision or stitches, and causes no blood loss. The procedure is performed under anesthesia, and surgeons generally use local anesthesia for laser circumcision. In this procedure, the surgeon uses a high-beam laser to cut the foreskin. The procedure  generally takes just 20 minutes and the patient feels no discomfort.
Insurance

Insurance coverage

Insurance generally covers medically necessary treatments. In severe cases of Foreskin Infection or posthitis, circumcision surgery is recommended and therefore it’s considered medically necessary. Circumcision surgery at Pristyn Care is covered under insurance, and we have a dedicated insurance team in place to help you with the insurance claim process. You can get in touch with our medical coordinators to learn more about insurance coverage for circumcision surgery.

Insurance

Video testimonial - by patient

Video on the disease and treatment - by Pristyn Care doctor

FAQ

Is posthitis contagious?

No. Posthitis isn’t contagious. However, it can be caused through sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

Is posthitis curable?

Yes. Posthitis is curable. In most cases, this condition subsides on its own and does not require treatment. In severe cases, posthitis might require medical management through antibiotics, antifungal creams, or antihistamines. Finally, when medicines and drugs fail to offer relief, doctors recommend circumcision i.e., foreskin removal.

Can I have sex if I have foreskin infection or posthitis?

Doctors generally ask patients to avoid having sex if they suffer from posthitis. Having sex in this condition can add to the pain and discomfort in the foreskin and may aggravate the condition. Additionally, it can also slow down the healing process. If you still wish to have sex while suffering from this condition, take your doctor’s advice first.

How painful is foreskin infection?

In most pediatric and adult males afflicted with the condition, posthitis does not exhibit severe symptoms and improves with time. However, sometimes, it can be quite painful and may cause discomfort while urinating or ejaculating.