Balanitis can be described as inflammation of the penis glans which can result in foreskin inflammation that covers the head of the penis unless male was circumcised.
The condition can happen at any age. It appears to be more common in US
men of Hispanic and African American descent. Nevertheless, this may relate to differences in circumcision rates among American men.
An estimated 1 in 10 men who attend a sexual health or genito-urinary clinic have this problem. Also, about 1 in 20 boys under 5 years old are affected by the condition.
Note – young boys usually are affected only if they have a very tight foreskin which is difficult to pull back.
Common symptoms include:
- pain when peeing;
- a build-up of thick fluid;
- a thick clumpy discharge that comes from under the foreskin;
- a tight foreskin which cannot be pulled back;
- a sore, itchy and smelly penis.
- injury – any grazes or cuts in the tip of the penis or foreskin;
- sexually transmitted infections, like – gonorrhea, genital herpes, and syphilis;
- allergic reaction (to spermicides, rubber, or other substances which come in contact with the skin of the penis);
- bacterial infections or thrush;
- irritation in the area that can be caused by – using scented sprays or lotions on the penis, using bar soap which dries out the skin, using scented soaps to clean the penis, or not rinsing soap completely off of the penis after showering.
In addition, the condition can happen as a side effect of certain drugs prescribed to treat type 2 diabetes or if your diabetes isn’t under control. This happens because sugar-rich urine that dribbles on to the glans and under the foreskin provides a friendly environment for bacteria and yeast.
Your healthcare provider can typically recognize this condition immediately. Sometimes, a swab or scraping of the skin may be examined under the microscope.
If the condition is caused by a fungal infection, it should be treated with an anti-fungal cream, that is applied daily for at least 14 days. Antibiotics will clear infection caused by bacteria, including certain sexually transmitted infections.
In cases where is persistent dribbling of urine following urination or the foreskin can’t be pulled back to be cleaned, your healthcare professional might suggest circumcision as a possible method to prevent further infections by eliminating the overlying foreskin.
15 Home Remedies For Balanitis
#1 Good Hygiene
It is important to clean your penis twice a day. Don’t use shower gels or perfumed soaps, just water alone. Additionally, you could try using an aqueous cream to soothe and clean the area.
#2 Tea Tree Essential Oil
This essential oil is effective when it comes to treating the condition because it contains potent antimicrobial compounds. Moreover, it is a good anti-inflammatory agent which can soothe irritation and inflammation.
It helps in reducing stiffness, pain, and inflammation. Also, it inhibits the genes responsible for triggering the inflammatory response, according to the National Institutes of Health. To use it, you can put a little cinnamon in your food as a spice.
It contains curcumin, a potent substance with anti-inflammatory effects similar to those of ibuprofen and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. To use it, you can add turmeric to your tea, food, or take it in form of a supplement.
It helps to suppress the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, hence, the occurrence of this condition may be reduced.
#6 Willow Bark
It is the bark of willow trees. It has been found to have powerful anti-inflammatory properties and it also provides pain relief. Actually, willow bark has very similar qualities to aspirin.
#7 Pineapples & Papayas
Consume a fresh papaya or half of a fresh pineapple every day. Papaya contains papain and pineapple contains bromelain, both enzymes which reduce inflammation and swelling.
#8 Aloe Vera
This medicinal herb has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties which can prevent the growth of plaque-causing bacteria in the mouth and other parts of the body. Aloe vera’s properties come from its content of more than 300 compounds including many minerals, essential amino acids, and vitamins.
#9 Tart Cherries
People who drank juice made from tart cherries experienced a reduction in the level of inflammation in their bodies, according to a 2010 study that was conducted at the Oregon Health and Science University.
It contains substances like Oleoresins and Tecpen that have good anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and analgesic properties. Moreover, ginger is considered a natural antibiotic without any side effects.
Physical exercise can help to lower inflammation. Doctors recommend biking, swimming, and yoga.
When you don’t get sufficient sleep, your body’s immune system has to work extra hard. As a result, inflammation will skyrocket. Aim for 7 to 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night.
#13 Clove Oil
It is another age-old home remedy which is used to reduce inflammation levels in the body. Also, it is an analgesic and will provide relief from any pain you might be experiencing.
It is a medicinal herb which is widely used in traditional medicine. It has been shown to reduce inflammation and fight pathogenic bacteria.
#15 Eucalyptus Essential Oil
It can temporarily relieve pain and inflammation. The active ingredient in this essential oil is menthol, that decreases pain and inflammation.
To prevent this condition, follow the next instructions:
- wash your penis at least once a day, gently but thoroughly with warm water (not hot);
- avoid using soaps which may irritate the skin;
- use a condom or a dam during oral sex;
- make sure to wash your penis after intercourse;
- wash and dry the penis after masturbating;
- don’t share sex toys;
- if you have a child who wears nappies, it is essential to change his nappy regularly;
- make sure the tip of your penis is dry and free from urine after using the toilet;
- wash your hands of chemicals before touching your penis;
- avoid irritants – this can include detergents, soaps, and creams.