About 1 in every 20 men suffers from infection of glans penis also known as balanitis. It is a common genital infection in men. In this article we will discuss how it develops, symptoms of balanitis, whether it is contagious, what age group gets affected by it and treatment. So let us proceed.
What Is Balanitis
Balanitis is swelling and inflammation of the foreskin and head of the penis. It mostly affects uncircumcised men and boys under four years of age. However, it may affect any male of any age. It is not a serious condition but may be uncomfortable and sometimes is painful. Topical medication and specific home remedies are enough to help you get rid of the balanitis.
What Causes Balanitis
In most of the cases, a chronic skin issue or fungal or bacterial infection is behind balanitis. The most common causative agent is Candida Albicans. It is a fungus that causes vaginal yeast and thrush.
Some other potential causes are:
- Poor hygiene
- Tight foreskin
- Using perfumed soaps and lotion
- Too much use of soap that makes the skin dry
- Incompletely rinsing the soap from the penis.
- Certain chronic health conditions such as diabetes and arthritis.
- Certain medications such as antibiotics, laxatives, and painkillers.
The reason why foreskin gets involved is that because it is perfect ground for bacteria and fungus to thrive as this area traps the moisture surrounding the glans penis.
What Are The Symptoms Of Balanitis
Many times balanitis is confused with the symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases. So to diagnose balanitis look for the following signs:
- Swelling around glans penis
- Sore glans
- The skin on the glans is tight and shiny
- Itchiness and irritation of glans
- Redness around glans.
- Lumpy and thick discharge accumulated under the foreskin
- Unpleasant smell
- Tight foreskin that can pull back
- Painful urination
- Pain while having sex
If the signs and symptoms mentioned above are present meet your health care provider to confirm the diagnosis and for proper treatment.
To rule out other conditions, your doctor will examine the skin for any skin issue or dermatosis. A urine test recommended if diabetes is suspected. The blood test is done to examine the glucose level, and swab test is done to detect infection. In rare cases, biopsy of inflamed skin is taken and send to the lab for the test.
Your doctor will suggest you anti-fungal, steroid and antibacterial creams to treat balanitis. But you may also try home remedies present on your kitchen shelves to get rid of balanitis fast.
6 Effective Balanitis Home Remedies
Medicinal properties of coconut oil are known for ages. For all kind of skin issues, it acts like wonder. Therapeutic compounds present in coconut oil are caprylic acid and lauric acid. It is anti-inflammatory, antifungal and antibacterial and is capable of treating any skin infection. Coconut oil also eases the symptoms of balanitis such as irritation, redness, and swelling.
What to do
Just apply coconut oil to the affected part a few times in a day. Always use a good quality virgin oil for this purpose.
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Also known as marigold this yellow flower is rich in anti-inflammatory properties. Many creams and ointments to treat skin disease contain calendula as the main ingredient. You can use calendula to get rid of balanitis.
What to do
Either use herbal cream with calendula as the main ingredient or wash the affected area with calendula tea.
To make calendula tea add a handful of dried calendula flowers to a cup of boiling water. Steep it for 15 minutes. Strain and wash your penis with this solution when the temperature of the solution is bearable.
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Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is acidic. It balances the pH level. It creates an environment which is not at all suitable for the bacteria and fungus to thrive.
What to do
Apple cider vinegar should never be used without diluting as it may cause burning and irritation. Mix apple cider vinegar to an equal amount of water and wash your penis with it two times in a day.
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No doubt, consuming good quality of yoghurt improves your health, but yoghurt is also an excellent balanitis remedy.
What to do
Apply plain yoghurt to the affected part a few times in a day. To enhance its medicinal powers, you may also mix it with garlic.
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A variety of skin conditions improves with garlic. Garlic is rich in allicin which is anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial.
What to do
Crush a few cloves of garlic and make a paste. To smoothen the paste you may also add a few drops of water. Apply the paste on the penis tip and leave it overnight to relieve inflammation and itching. To completely get rid of the condition you may need to repeat this procedure for a few days.
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Tea tree oil
The natural healing properties of tea tree oil are boon for humanity. Tea tree oil soothes irritation, inflammation and is a strong antimicrobial.
What to do
As tea tree oil is very potent, you cannot use it directly on the skin. Add a few drops of tea tree oil to a teaspoon of coconut oil. Apply this mixture of oils to the affected area a few times in a day for a few days.
So as you can see there six readily available, natural and effective home remedies for balanitis to ease your symptoms.
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But can you prevent balanitis in the first place?
Yes, below are some tips to avoid balanitis
- Pay attention to the cleaning of the penis. Make sure that the head of penis and foreskin is clean and dry.
- The glans should be exposed, and foreskin should be pulled back. Glans should be dry before replacing foreskin.
- Do not use harsh soap to wash penis. Always use warm water.
- If you are using neutral soap cleanser or aqueous cream make sure it is washed off entirely.
- Use condoms while having intercourse.
- Refrain yourself from wearing tight underwears.