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What is the balanitis?

Balanitis is an inflammation of the glans, which is the final part of the penis. The glans is the final portion of the spongy body, which is the smallest of the three columns of erectile tissue found in the penis (the other two are the corpora cavernosa, which are two parallel structures located on top of it).

This disease produces in almost all cases redness of the glans and foreskin, and other lesions can appear at that level such as blisters, erosions or whitish or grayish spots, depending on the cause that produces it. When there is inflammation, there is pain in the vast majority of cases, and may also cause itching and stinging. The intensity of these symptoms is variable. In addition, it is not uncommon for other alterations to appear, such as the emission of malodorous secretions.

It can be produced by multiple causes, the most common being the lack of intimate hygiene in uncircumcised patients and the use of soaps, perfumes or condoms that contain chemicals that irritate the glans. Although there are many other reasons that can originate it, ranging from banal conditions to more serious premalignant lesions. The most important causes of appearance of balanitis are: Fungal Infections (Candida albicans), Bacteria of different types (G. Vaginalis, Streptococcus group A, Staphylococcus aureus, T. vaginalis or syphilis) or Virus as by the herpes virus, virus of human papilloma (HPV), dermatological diseases such as lichen sclerosus, circinate balanitis, psoriasis, pemphigus, premalignant lesions, such as erythroplasia of Queyrat or Bowen's disease.

The anamnesis (interview of the specialist to the patient to know their symptoms and condition) and the clinical history are a very important pillar in the diagnosis of balanitis - inflammation of the glans - and balanoposthitis - inflammation of the prepuce -. In some cases, as in balanitis caused by drugs (fixed erythema medicamentosa), a history directed to the use of drugs in the previous days is essential to achieve diagnosis. The same happens in the balanitis for irritants or in which it is related to lack of hygiene.

The physical examination is also fundamental, because although the clinical presentation is similar in many cases, there are some peculiarities according to the cause of the balanitis. The appearance of the lesions and their characteristics allow the doctor to make a diagnosis of suspicion.

Many times the diagnosis of balanitis can be made with anamnesis and a detailed physical examination, without the need for additional tests, but there are conditions in which the performance of other tests such as skin biopsy is necessary to rule out premalignant lesions. . If there are doubts about the diagnosis, a biopsy can also be performed. Another frequently used test is the culture of a sample obtained from the glans or foreskin lesions.

General measures to treat balanitis include washing the area with warm water or saline a couple of times a day and avoiding soaps or other substances that may be irritating while inflammation of the glans is present.

And is that, with proper hygiene of the penis can be avoided many cases of balanitis. For this it is necessary to carry out a complete washing of the latter, which includes retraction of the foreskin to expose the glans, thus being able to clean it comfortably. This prevents the accumulation of dirt on the frenulum and the glans. Afterwards the area will be dried as it is done with the rest of the body. An excessive washing is not good, because it favors the appearance of irritation.

If the cause of balanitis is a sexually transmitted disease, you must adopt the basic recommendations indicated by the primary care physician or the specialist doctor for your specific case.

And is that, with proper hygiene of the penis can be avoided many cases of balanitis. For this it is necessary to carry out a complete washing of the latter, which includes retraction of the foreskin to expose the glans, thus being able to clean it comfortably. This prevents the accumulation of dirt on the frenulum and the glans. Afterwards the area will be dried as it is done with the rest of the body. An excessive washing is not good, because it favors the appearance of irritation.

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This article was published on .

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