Balanitis is a fairly common condition that is characterized by pain and inflammation of the penis glans. Balanitis can be caused by various reasons.
In most cases, it is caused by fungal or bacterial infections. However, other factors, such as poor genital hygiene, reaction to latex condoms, sexually transmitted infections, and certain medications, may also cause balanitis.
There are various methods available for balanitis infection treatment, and depending on the reason behind your condition, the method of treatment best suited for you may vary as well.
Typically, balanitis can be treated through antibiotics and topical medications, but recurrent cases may require more invasive measures.
So let’s dive in and discuss not only surgical treatments for balanitis but non-surgical methods as well and everything else you may need to know about Balanitis.
How is Balanitis Treated?
There are various methods to treat balanitis. Most cases of balanitis can be treated through non-surgical methods such as antibiotics, antifungal creams, and maintaining good genital hygiene.
Typically, balanitis treatment with antibiotics works effectively in managing the infection. But, more recurrent cases of balanitis caused by foreskin issues such as phimosis may require surgical procedures such as circumcision.
Prior to surgery, your urologist will likely perform a series of simple tests and diagnostics to not only assess your overall health but also determine the exact cause of your condition. Doing so will help your urologist better recommend a suitable method for balanitis infection treatment for you.
Surgical Options for Balanitis Treatment
Circumcision surgery is generally considered to be a safe and effective treatment for recurrent cases of balanitis. Circumcision is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of the skin covering the tip of the penis called the foreskin. There are primarily three methods of circumcision that are commonly performed as safe and effective forms of balanitis treatment:
Laser circumcision is an advanced and minimally invasive surgical procedure that is performed to cut and remove the foreskin. In a laser circumcision, the surgeon uses a high-energy laser beam to remove the foreskin along a predetermined incision line without the risk of any deep cuts or excessive bleeding. The recovery period in the case of laser circumcision is considerably less and has been shown to have better results and postoperative quality of life.
Stapler circumcision is a more conventional form of circumcision that is performed using a stapler device. A stapler device is a disposable surgical device that is specially designed to remove the foreskin. This stapler device fits snugly around the head of the penis and, once fired, cuts the foreskin and closes the incision wound with a silicone ring to minimize bleeding and promote faster healing. Once the circumcision wound has healed completely, which generally takes 7-10 days, the silicone ring will fall off on its own.
Compared to laser and stapler circumcision, open circumcision is a more conventional form of removing the foreskin and treating balanitis infection. In an open circumcision, the urologist uses a scalpel or surgical scissors to make an incision along the upper length of the foreskin from the tip of the corona to expose the penile glans. Due to its invasive nature, open circumcision requires longer to heal and also carries a significant risk of complications such as excessive bleeding or infection.
Non-surgical Options for Balanitis Treatment
Before moving on to surgical treatments, your urologist may recommend the use of some non-surgical alternatives for treating balanitis. Depending on what is causing your condition, treatment may vary as well. Some of the most commonly prescribed, non-surgical alternatives for balanitis infection treatment include:
In cases of balanitis caused by a yeast infection, also called candida balanitis, your urologist may prescribe you some antifungal creams, such as clotrimazole, to treat the infection. Some of the most commonly used brands of antifungal creams that your urologist may prescribe for candida balanitis treatment are given below:
- Cyclosporine ointment
- 0.05% fluticasone propionate
- 2.0% sertaconazole nitrate
Balanitis caused by sexually transmitted infections may require antibiotics such as amoxicillin or doxycycline for treatment. The type of antibiotics best suited for you highly depends on the infection you have, and before taking any medications, it is important to consult with your urologist first. Some of the most commonly prescribed balanitis treatment antibiotics include::
Besides taking the medicines, washing your penis every day and cleaning off any excess smegma or bacteria that may have accumulated over your penis can help you maintain good genital hygiene and prevent balanitis from developing in the first place. Make sure that you use a very gentle soap and avoid scrubbing any sensitive area while cleaning. These measures can be helpful to treat and manage balanitis infections.
Recovery After Balanitis Surgery
Typically, recovery after a balanitis surgery can take anywhere from 1-2 weeks. You can likely return to your daily activities in just a couple of days. However, depending on various factors, such as the method of surgery, your overall health, and the quality of postoperative care, recovery time may vary. During this period, your urologist may also lay down some easy-to-follow guidelines and tips to ensure a smooth recovery, such as:
- Keep the surgical site clean and dry.
- Refrain from any sexual activity until your doctor thinks it’s safe.
- Avoid swimming pools and hot tubs.
- Stay hydrated. Drink at least 2 liters of water every day.
- Refrain from strenuous activity or exercises that exert excessive force on the surgical site.
- Refrain from alcohol consumption or smoking for at least 48 hours after surgery.
What Happens if Balanitis is Left Untreated?
If left untreated for a long period of time, balanitis could lead to various complications, such as:
- Balanitis Xerotica Obliterans: Often referred to as BXO, Balanitis Xerotica Obliterans is a condition where the skin on the glans hardens and turns white. The hard tissue can then make it difficult, or even impossible, for urine or semen to flow through the urethra. BXO is also known as lichen sclerosus.
- Paraphimosis: If left untreated for a prolonged period of time, balanitis could lead to foreskin conditions such as paraphimosis. Paraphimosis is a condition of the penis that is characterized by the inability of the foreskin to return to its normal place once it has been retracted.
- Ulcerative Lesions: Untreated balanitis can also lead to the formation of painful sores or lesions on the penis glans. These sores could result in bleeding and scarring.
- Penile Cancer: In some rare instances, chronic balanitis can significantly increase the risk of developing penile cancer.
If you are struggling with symptoms of balanitis, it is highly recommended to seek medical consultation from a qualified urologist.
Risks & Complications Associated with Balanitis Surgery
Complications of any kind, either during or after a balanitis surgery, are rare. However, as is the case with any other surgical procedure, they can still happen and should not be taken lightly. Some complications (and their symptoms) that may occur after your balanitis surgery are given below:
- Excessive Bleeding: While some minor bleeding is to be expected and considered normal after circumcision, excessive bleeding may be a sign of complication. If you are noticing signs of persistent bleeding, it is highly advisable to inform your urologist about it.
- Excessive Pain: Some mild-to-moderate discomfort is to be expected after circumcision surgery and should subside on its own in a few days. However, if the pain continues to worsen over time and does not subside on its own, it is imperative to consult your urologist as soon as possible.
- Infection: Chances of an infection after a circumcision procedure are rare. However, it can still occur and can be treated using antibiotics or topical creams. Symptoms of an infection include increased pain, swelling, warmth, redness, and fever.
- Insufficient Removal of the Foreskin: Typically, a circumcision procedure removes the foreskin to the level where the penis glans are completely exposed. However, in some rare cases, too little skin is removed, resulting in ineffective treatment of balanitis or unsatisfactory cosmetic results. In such cases, you will likely require revision surgery for correction.
- Penile Adhesions: Penile adhesions or skin bridges refer to areas of the foreskin that are stuck to the glans. During the process of circumcision, these adhesions need to be cut in order for the foreskin to be removed. If these adhesions are not completely removed, the circumcised edge of the foreskin may be drawn up over one section of the corona and create an unsatisfactory appearance.
- Amputation of the Glans: While extremely rare, there have been cases of amputation of the penile glans due to improper placement of surgical devices. If recognized promptly with both the amputated piece and the patient transported immediately to a urologist, successful reattachment of the glans may be possible.
What is the Best Way to Treat Balanitis?
Surgical procedures such as laser or stapler circumcision are often considered to be a safe and effective option for balanitis treatment. While most cases are manageable with antifungal creams or balanitis treatment medicine, your symptoms may return once you have stopped their application or use.
Surgical procedures such as laser circumcision, on the other hand, provide an effective and long-lasting solution for balanitis.
If you are struggling with balanitis infections and seeking effective treatment, consider undergoing circumcision surgery. Get in touch with our highly experienced team of urologists and plan the treatment.
Struggling with balanitis can be difficult. Not only can it affect your daily life, but it can also be a cause of embarrassment in front of your partner.
But, it is generally not considered to be serious and can be treated through non-surgical options such as balanitis treatment medicine, antibiotics, simple changes in daily lifestyle, and maintenance of good genital hygiene.
However, if you have any recurring symptoms or balanitis is caused by foreskin issues such as phimosis or tight foreskin, your urologist may suggest circumcision for an effective treatment.
If you are struggling with balanitis, it is recommended to contact your healthcare provider as soon as possible. You can also get in touch with our team of highly qualified and experienced urologists for a safe and effective balanitis treatment. Book an appointment with us today!
FAQs About Balanitis
Is balanitis surgery covered under insurance?
Yes, balanitis surgery is generally covered by most health insurance plans in India if treatment is considered to be medically necessary by your healthcare provider. Prior to surgery, it is best to have a detailed discussion about the inclusions and exclusions of your insurance plan with your insurance provider.
Can balanitis lead to erectile dysfunction?
Yes, the pain caused by the swollen penis increases during an erection. This will likely hinder your ability to have sexual intercourse and may even lead to erectile dysfunction. However, such cases are very rare.
What is the fastest way to cure balanitis?
A circumcision surgery is generally considered to be a fast and effective treatment for balanitis. The entire procedure is performed on an outpatient basis and does not take more than 15-20 minutes to complete. You can likely return home on the same day of surgery.
Is coconut oil good for balanitis?
Coconut oil is widely considered to be one of the best home remedies for relief from symptoms of balanitis. Lauric acid and caprylic acid present in coconut oil are very effective in soothing the irritated skin.
Can balanitis spread?
Balanitis is not a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) and therefore cannot spread from one person to another. However, it is possible for the underlying cause of your condition,such as fungal, bacterial or sexually transmitted infection, to spread.
What cream is best for effective candida balanitis treatment?
Antifungal creams such as Clotrimazole is generally considered to be the best and the most effective, non-surgical treatment for candida balanitis.