Balanitis and Balanoposthitis

Balanitis is an inflammation of a head of the penis (glans penis) and posthitis is an inflammation of foreskin. The diseases usually go together. Nowadays the modern medicine considers as balanitis also non-inflammatory and allergic conditions of the penis. For known reasons, posthitis is one of the most common inflammatory diseases in men.

Causes of Balanitis

Factors for balanitis are grouped. They include:

  • Specific posthitis results from a sexually transmitted infection (most common), and the infection is identified
  • Nonspecific posthitis, when the infection is nor determined
  • Posthitides resulting from various skin diseases
  • Allergic posthitides made as an allergic reaction

Signs of Posthitis

Signs of posthitis can be sorted out in 3 groups. They include:

  1. Itch, burn, cutting pain and discomfort in the area of head of the penis. Occasionally, high sensitivity occurs in the glans. A person can’t keep an erection and the sexual contact becomes shorter.
  2. Red rash on the head of your penis tells about its inflammation. Dry skin, inflamed glans, red rash, lumps, fissures and sores on prepuce and head of the penis. The skin of mucous membrane of the glans got thinner – as thin as a parchment paper (maceration). Commonly, balanitis and posthitis result from sexually transmitted infections. Poor hygiene or unsafe sex Ц with a person who has mycotic vulvovaginitis or an infectious disease Ц may result in posthitis.
  3. Some penile discharges. Normally, smegma Ц discharge produced by sebaceous glands of the glans Ц is present on head of the penis. The smegma is gradually being collected. It is not harmful if it is washed regularly. During posthitis the discharges are more frequent and the head of the penis and under the foreskin are to be washed several times a day. Sometimes the discharges are so abundant that they dirty the underwear. The symptoms may be present both together and in different combinations. The presence of any such indication can be recognized as balanitis or posthitis. Infections factors may be streptococci, E.coli, enterococci, etc.

Bacteria Spread onto the Head of the Penis. The Cases Include:

  1. Sexual contact without a condom, when she has vaginal dysbiosis. In this case, a lot of bacteria live in a womanТs vagina. They cause the inflammation of a head of the penis.
  2. Oral sex, when she has mouth disorders.
  3. Anal sexual contact without a condom.

All these cases may result in single and evident attack of balanitis. Unless it recurs the inflammation goes away on its own within several days.


  1. Poor hygiene. When a man does not practice a good hygiene of his genitals white discharges are collected under flap of the foreskin. Infection dwells there. The infection is the first reason for inflammation.
  2. If it is difficult to pull the foreskin back. In phimosis, the foreskin cannot be retracted over head of the penis or it is hard to retract. This makes glans washing difficult and may cause balanitis and posthitis.

All mentioned causes create good conditions for development of the disease and other infections. As a rule, these are long-lasting diseases. Occasionally, they become acute and therefore more difficult to cure.

How Are Posthitides Diagnosed

A doctor diagnoses the diseases basing on the received clinical and laboratory tests data. To make sure it is a posthitis the following tests are recommended to be made:

  • Ch.Trachomatis, T.vaginalis, Herpes simplex type 2 cultures
  • Candida (albicans, glabrata), Gardnerella vaginalis, Mobilluncus spp. Cultures may be recommended
  • Testing for syphilis
  • Blood sugar test
  • Skin testing (see an Allergy Doctor)

Posthitis when STI

In rare cases, sexually transmitted diseases show off as an inflammation of head of the penis. Most commonly, STI result in weakened immune system conditions. This develops posthitis while the inflammation is caused by pathogenic flora. In diagnosing posthitis testing for STI is to be done if it has not been done within last 6 months. Once the infection is found the patient and all his partners should be cured.

Complications of Posthitis

Long-lasted inflammatory process on the glans can lead to lowering sensitivity during sexual contact. This causes discomfort in sex life, decreases pleasant feelings while having sex and orgasm. It may badly tell on the sexual function and feelings. Besides, the inflammation can pass from head of the penis to urethra and develop urethritis. Its main sign is pain when urinating.

Treatment for Balanitis

The method of treatment depends on the infection, which is a cause. The modern medicine has many kinds of medications to restore immune function in the mucous membrane of the glans. They differ in their functions and there must be prescribed individually by a doctor. Occasionally, along with taking preparations an immune-strengthening therapy course can be performed. 

Prevention of Posthitis

Mainly posthitis is associated with abnormal vaginal flora in a sexual partner. She has to see a Gynecologist. In other respects, practicing good hygiene and seeing a Urologist regularly will take problems with head of the penis away.