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)

 Circumcision (uncommon, but may be done if treatment does not cure the condition or if the balanitis is extreme)

 Corticosteroid creams

What you can do to improve your balanitis

Many cases of balanitis are treatable, and keeping the area clean and dry is a good way to prevent balanitis. For active cases, cleaning or using damp cloths can help with symptoms. Topical over-the-counter creams may be soothing, but it is best to contact your healthcare provider before using these products. You may improve your balanitis by:

  • Applying over-the-counter creams (under a physician’s care)
  • Using a warm, damp washcloth to soothe the area

What are the potential complications of balanitis?

Complications of untreated balanitis can be serious, even life threatening in some cases. You can help minimize your risk of serious complications by following the treatment plan you and your health care professional design specifically for you. Complications of balanitis include:

  • Difficulty repositioning the foreskin (paraphimosis)
  • Difficulty urinating or ejaculating
  • Difficulty with or inability to retract the foreskin (phimosis)
  • Infertility
  • Recurrent infections
  • Scarring of the penile opening
  • Spread of infection


  1. Balanitis. Medline Plus, a service of the National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health.
  2. Genital problems in men.
  3. Metcalfe PD, Elyas R. Foreskin management: Survey of Canadian pediatric urologists. Can Fam Physician 2010; 56:e290.

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:


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:

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