How to treat Balanoposthitis?
Balanoposthitis is the inflammation of the foreskin and glans. Most often it occurs in people with low resistance to infectious agents, for example, in people with immunodeficiencies or diabetes.
In the presence of predisposing factors, the smegma collects under the foreskin causing inflammation and balanoposthitis occurs. The disease itself does not pose any danger for health but if left untreated it may develop complications.
The predisposing factors are:
- Any infectious agents in the body;
- Any chronic diseases;
- Anatomic pathologies of the penis (phimosis, urethral stricture);
- Inflammation in the urinary tract (most often of the urethra);
- Poor personal hygiene;
- Too frequent masturbation (it may be the reason of microtraumas).
Depending on the factor or their combination, several types of balanoposthitis are distinguished. They differ by the etiology and the mechanism of development.
The types of foreskin inflammation in men (depending on the cause):
- Infectious. It occurs as a complication of some sexually transmitted disease which can be recognized by specific symptoms.
- Traumatic. If the foreskin or the glans are injured, various pathogenic agents can easily penetrate the body through the wounds and scratches, causing inflammation.
- Allergic. Usually allergic reaction is caused by a condom or other contraceptive which is in direct contact with the penis;
- Herpetic. Balanoposthitis is a manifestation of chronic genital herpes which aggravates from time to time. This pathology is characterized by a specific rash and the inflammatory syndrome.
- Anaerobic. It occurs when penile tissues do not get enough of oxygen. The disease is characterized by a sticky discharge with unpleasant smell.
- Candidal. The causative agent is a fungus Candida which is responsible for inflammation and is manifested as a whitish cottage cheese-like deposit.
- Circinary. It occurs due to bacterial infection and has specific symptoms. The glans is covered with round red spots.
Clinical presentation and types of balanoposthitis
Clinical symptoms of the disease are important for choosing the most optimal balanoposthitis treatment and they can be divided into three groups by their severity:
- Initial stage. At this stage, only minor skin changes are observed. A man may have subjective sensations such as itching and burning. A man may also experience some stabbing pain. The first signs of inflammation are also observed: redness of the skin, edema, local temperature rise in some cases. Sex in balanoposthitis brings discomfort and premature ejaculation is typical for this condition.
- Moderately severe. Additionally to the symptoms occurring at the initial stage, skin lesions appear. The skin gets much thinner, fissures and ulcers appear. A foreskin contraction develops which makes sex painful.
- Severe. Due to excessive smegma production, discharge appear. As infectious process develops, a man has purulent discharge from the urinary tract. At this stage, general signs of inflammation appear such as fever, weakness and fatigue.
Three types of balanoposthitis are distinguished:
- Catarrhal. This type of the condition is characterized by local symptoms of inflammation and skin softening with further erosion occurrence. Among the subjective sensations, men experience itching and burning. A man may also have purulent discharge.
- Erosive. This condition manifests as painful deep erosions of a red color and with macerated edges. Affected areas bring pain and may be the cause of phimosis. The infection is spread through the lymphatic system causing enlargement of regional lymph nodes.
- Gangrenous. In addition to local symptoms, the signs of inflammation also occur such as fever and fatigue. The glans and the foreskin are deeply affected, they swell and have purulent and necrotic ulcers. Phimosis almost always develops as a complication of this type of balanoposthitis.
Balanoposthitis in children
The main cause of balanoposthitis in children is the foreskin contraction when it is not possible to pull it back. This is a dangerous condition and it contributes to the infection.
Often balanoposthitis occurs in teenagers who tend to ignore proper personal hygiene and, consequently, excessive smegma collects under the glans causing development of the disease. There is a high risk of complications and development of a chronic condition in children as it is very important to treat balanoposthitis in time and teenagers do not always share their problems with parents.
Before choosing the most optimal balanoposthitis treatment, it is important to identify the cause of the disease. To find out the cause, inoculation of medium and antibiotic sensitivity test are performed. It is important to exclude sexually transmitted diseases, namely, syphilis which is also characterized by ulcers and erosions. In some cases, for example in candidosis, a causative agent may be detected by a typical clinical presentation. Only when the cause of the disease is identified, the optimal treatment is chosen.
Treatment of balanoposthitis in men
Proper personal hygiene plays a key role in balanoposthitis treatment.
A man should pay particular attention to the hygiene of the affected areas and should not use skin care products which have an irritating effect. It is recommended to use herbal products.
The main principles for treating foreskin inflammation in men :
- The use of herbal antibacterial, antifungal or anti-inflammatory remedies depending on the cause of the disease;
- The use of topical anti-inflammatory medications (usually ointments with corticosteroids are indicated);
- Immunomodulators (if a man initially had low immunity or the disease is in severe stage);
- Specific types of balanoposthitis are treated with special drugs (candidal – clotrimazole, anaerobic – azithromycin);
- Surgical treatment is required only when the foreskin needs to be removed (in case with phimosis);
- Natural treatment of balanoposthitis includes the use of natural remedies to relieve the symptoms (baths, sponge baths and other soothing procedures). However they do not eliminate the cause of the disease. It means that self-treatment will not treat balanoposthitis but will contribute to the development of a chronic disease.
The average course of balanoposthitis treatment is less than a week but it depends on the cause. The therapy lasts longer in men with low immunity and in case with a severe condition surgical treatment may be required.