If you have been diagnosed with balanitis, you will want to know what kinds of balanitis treatment is available. How balanitis is treated will depend on the cause of the problem. Balanitis mostly occurs in men and boys who have never been circumcised. Not properly cleaning the glans under the foreskin can cause bacteria to grow. This may cause a foul smelling discharge called smegma, a redness and swelling of the glans, a rash, and/or itching.
If your balanitis is caused by an allergy to soap, spermicide, latex condoms, lubricants, or some other irritant, the first step is to stop using the suspected product. The doctor will most likely prescribe a steroid cream like 1% hydrocortisone to take care of the swelling. In addition, he may prescribe an antifungal or antibiotic medication. The steroid cream should not be used alone if there is an infection.
Balanitis could also be caused by a yeast infection, and there are antifungal creams like clotrimazole or miconazole that can be prescribed. The sex partner must also be treated and sex should be avoided unless a condom is used or the yeast infection will continue to be passed back and forth. To prevent further occurrences, males should wash the entire penis after sex.
Bacterial infections that cause balanitis are treated with an antibiotic. The most common antibiotics that are used are penicillin or erythromycin.
If the cause of your balanitis cannot be determined, your doctor may send you to a dermatologist or a urologist to do testing. The urologist may perform a urine test to see if you may have glucose in your urine which may indicate diabetes. Glucose speeds up the growth of bacteria. The dermatologist may scrape a sample and have a lab test done to see what type of bacteria may be present. These lab tests can determine the cause of balanitis.
Another condition that may cause balanitis is phimosis where the individual has a tight foreskin which does not allow for proper cleaning. This condition may cause recurring balanitis.
Whatever the cause of balanitis, one thing certain is the glans and foreskin should be washed and cleaned daily with a neutral cleanser. The foreskin should be pulled back to expose the glans completely. The area should also be completely dried before the foreskin is returned to cover the glans.
In addition to good personal hygiene, other preventative measures can also be taken to reduce the possibility of balanitis returning. Washing underwear in a non-biological washing powder and making sure it is rinsed out completely, washing your hands before urinating to keep any possible chemicals or irritants away from the penis, and avoiding known irritants are other possible preventative measures. If all else fails, the most drastic balanitis treatment to stop recurrence is to have circumcision surgery.