Balanoposthitis is an inflammation of the glans penis and prepuce. Balanitis is an inflammation that affects the glans penis, and posthitis refers to the inflammation of the foreskin (or prepuce).
It is characterized by redness, swelling, purulent discharge, itching and burning on the inflamed part of the mucous membrane.
Balanoposthitis — Causes
One of the most common causes of the balanoposthitis is the infection caused by bacteria: streptococci, staphylococci, escherichia, enterococci, trichomoniasis, etc. The inflammation of the mucous membrane of the penis is due to cadidiasis or due to insufficient hygiene, irritation with aggressive soaps and disinfectants. In uncircumcised men, balanoposthitis often develops due to a moist and warm environment inside the mucous membrane. Mechanical trauma during sexual intercourse can also be the reason for the mucous membrane inflammation. Infections that develop on the penis can be caused by specific pathogens (syphilis, genital herpes, gonorrhoea, mycoplasma, ureaplasma, chlamydia), which are described in the section on sexually transmitted diseases. There are several different forms of balanoposthitis depending on the causative agent that triggers it: Balanoposthitis simplex – characterized by redness, swelling, secretion on the glans penis or foreskin. There may be minor or larger sores, feeling of irritation of the mucous membrane, itching, burning or urinating discomfort. The most common causative agents are bacterial infections, mechanical and chemical factors. Candida balanoposthitis – provoked by excessive production of candida fungus, after immunity decrease or after antibiotic therapy. It often develops in diabetics. It is characterised by the appearance of bright red or whitish deposits or bubbles, itching and burning sensation. The symptoms often tend to recur after the initial withdrawal. Circinate erosive balanitis —occurs in the form of red polycyclic or grey-whitish lesions. It is a chronic condition and occurs as part of Reiter’s disease or as an independent disease.
The diagnosis can be made based on the clinical picture, as well as additional tests in the form of bacteriological culture test to identify the causative agent. It is often necessary to examine and treat a sexual partner as well.
It is necessary to eliminate all predisposing factors that lead to the development of the disease.
Washing with water and very mild, neutral soaps is advised. Avoid the use of wet wipes and other disinfectants that can lead to allergic reactions and drying out of the mucous membrane. Depending on the causative agent, antibiotics and antimycotics can be used for treatment, administered topically and systemically. Untreated balanoposthitis can evolve into chronic inflammation, when the mucous membrane becomes constantly red, shiny, smooth, thinned.
As a result of recurred balanoposthitis, it is possible to develop a phimosis— the inability to cover the foreskin over the glans. Paraphimosis may also occur — when the edge of the foreskin gets stuck behind the glans, accompanied by swelling and it requires immediate manual retraction.