What causes balanitis?

The most common cause of balanitis is poor hygiene. The inflammation may also be due to infection or irritation from chemical irritants such as soaps.

What are the risk factors for balanitis?

A number of factors increase the risk of developing balanitis. Not all males with risk factors will get balanitis. Risk factors for balanitis include:

  • Being uncircumcised
  • Following improper or poor cleaning habits
  • Having diabetes (chronic disease that affects your body’s ability to use sugar for energy)
  • Unprotected sexual intercourse (vaginal or anal)

Reducing your risk of balanitis

Balanitis can be prevented by following good hygiene practices and regularly cleaning the foreskin and penis with an antibacterial soap and warm water.

You may be able to lower your risk of balanitis by:

  • Cleaning your penis and foreskin regularly
  • Ensuring that your foreskin is retracted when you clean the region
  • Keeping the area clean and dry
  • Maintaining good hygiene habits


What is balanitis?

Balanitis is an inflammation of the foreskin and head of the penis that typically occurs in boys and men who are uncircumcised (foreskin remains around the penis). This inflammation can be caused by infections, poor hygiene, or irritants from soaps or detergents. Symptoms of balanitis can include blisters, discharge, itching, pain, redness on the tip of the penis (glans) and foreskin (prepuce),... Read more about balanitisintroduction


What are the symptoms of balanitis?

Common symptoms of balanitis

Some of the first signs of balanitis may be redness or ulceration on the tip of the penis underneath the foreskin. Eventually, discharge can occur and may be accompanied by blisters, itching, peeling, scabbing, scar tissue, and swelling.

Common symptoms of balanitis

Common symptoms of balanitis include:


How is balanitis treated?

Treatment for balanitis depends on the underlying cause of the inflammation. Treatment can include education about improved hygiene, medications, or, in rare cases, surgery.

Treatments for balanitis

Treatments for balanitis include:

Antibiotics (if the condition is caused by infection)

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Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Annual Review Date: Aug 23, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Male Reproductive System