Posthitis is a condition of the penis that is characterized by the inflammation of the foreskin, a fold of skin that covers the head of your penis.
Posthitis is an extremely discomforting condition that is fairly common among uncircumcised men. Studies suggest that 12-20% of uncircumcised males struggle with posthitis at some point in their life.
But, posthitis is generally not considered to be a serious problem and can be treated with non-surgical options such as antifungal ointments, antibiotics, or some simple changes in your lifestyle.
More severe or recurrent cases of posthitis, however, may require more invasive methods of treatment, such as circumcision.
In this blog, we aim to answer all of those questions and give you a better understanding of posthitis, its causes and its treatments.
What are the Causes of Posthitis?
Posthitis can be caused by various reasons. Some of the most common causes of posthitis include:
- Foreskin conditions such as phimosis or paraphimosis
- Poor genital hygiene
- Bacterial infections or fungal infections
- Sexually transmitted infections
- Allergies caused by latex condoms, lubricants, spermicides or corticosteroids
How is Posthitis Treated?
There are various methods to effectively treat posthitis. While in some cases, it can be treated through non-surgical methods such as antibiotics and antifungal creams, recurrent cases may require surgical treatments such as circumcision.
Prior to treatment, your urologist will likely perform a series of simple tests and diagnostics to not only evaluate your overall health but also find the reason behind your condition.
Depending on the cause of posthitis, your urologist may recommend one of the below-given r posthitis treatment:
Posthitis can usually be treated with antifungal creams, antibiotics and maintenance of good hygiene. Before moving onto more invasive methods, your urologist will likely prescribe you some medications and lifestyle changes such as:
- Antibiotics: Posthitis caused by any bacterial, viral or Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) can be treated through antibiotics. The type of antibiotic medication best suited for you depends upon the infection you have. Some of the most commonly prescribed antibiotics include Moxatag, Ceftriaxone, Cefixime, Vibramycin and Sumycin. It is highly advised to avoid taking any unprescribed medications. It is very important to consult your healthcare provider before taking any type of antibiotics or medications.
- Antifungal creams: Similar to antibiotics, if a fungus is responsible for your posthitis, your urologist will likely prescribe you some antifungal creams. These creams are to be applied to your foreskin as prescribed by your doctor. Some of the most commonly prescribed antifungal creams to treat posthitis include Lotrimin, Spectazole, Neosporin AF and Exelderm.
- Diabetes management: Recurrent cases of posthitis may be a sign of diabetes. In such cases, your healthcare provider may advise you to manage it. Managing your diabetes generally includes monitoring your blood glucose levels, maintaining your cholesterol levels, controlling your blood pressure, following a food plan and exercising regularly.
- Improved hygiene: Regularly and thoroughly washing under your foreskin can help you not only treat but also prevent posthitis. Maintaining good genital hygiene will help you avoid excess accumulation of any microbes, bacteria or smegma under the foreskin.
While posthitis is generally treatable through non-surgical methods, recurrent or severe cases may require surgical treatments. Procedures such as circumcision are considered to be an effective posthitis treatment.
Circumcision is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of the foreskin. There are primarily three methods of circumcision:
- Laser circumcision: Laser circumcision is an advanced and minimally invasive surgical procedure that is commonly recommended as an effective posthitis treatment. In a laser circumcision, the urologist uses a highly focused beam of laser to cut and remove the foreskin without the risk of any excessive bleeding or deep cuts. A laser circumcision surgery is an extremely precise procedure. Not only does it have better cosmetic results but also recovery period as compared to conventional methods such as open circumcision.
- Stapler circumcision: Stapler circumcision is a surgical procedure that uses a stapler device, a disposable, specially designed surgical tool, to remove the foreskin. This stapler device fits snugly around the head of the penis and once fired, cuts and removes the foreskin. A stapler device also closes the incision wound almost immediately using a silicone ring that wraps itself around the head of the penis. This promotes healing and helps ensure minimal bleeding as well. Once the incision wound has healed (which generally takes 7-10 days) the silicone ring will fall off on its own.
- Open circumcision: Open circumcision is a conventional and a more invasive method of circumcision that is performed using scalpel or surgical scissors. In an open circumcision, the urologist makes an incision along the upper length of the foreskin from the tip of the corona to expose the penile glans. Compared to laser and stapler circumcision, the incision wound in an open circumcision takes longer to heal and due to its invasive nature, carries an increased risk of complications, such as excessive bleeding and infection.
Which Posthitis Treatment is Best Suited for You?
In most cases, advanced surgical procedures such as laser circumcision is considered to be an effective treatment for posthitis. While posthitis can be treated through medications such as antibiotics and antifungal creams, it may reoccur if its underlying cause goes untreated.
For example, if your posthitis is caused by poor genital hygiene or foreskin conditions such as phimosis, your condition will likely recur if the cause itself is not addressed.
The treatment best suited for posthitis highly depends on the reason behind your condition. If posthitis is caused by a bacterial, fungal or sexually transmitted infection (such as gonorrhea), it is usually treatable through medications and antibiotics.
To minimize chances of recurrence, it is also important to understand what are the potential causes of posthitis and avoid them to the best of your ability.
Is Posthitis Dangerous?
Posthitis is not a contagious condition and is generally not considered to be dangerous, either. But, if left untreated for a long time, posthitis can lead to serious complications.
Persistent cases of posthitis or chronic posthitis, can not only lead to foreskin conditions such as phimosis or paraphimosis, it can also affect the penile glans.
This puts you at a significant risk of contracting infections like Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) and recurrent kidney infections. If the reason behind your posthitis is diabetes, it also puts you at an increased risk of developing penile cancer.
If you are experiencing posthitis symptoms such as pain, tenderness, itching, discolouration or a foul smelling discharge from under your foreskin, it is highly advised to contacft your healthcare provider.
As mentioned previously, posthitis is usually not dangerous and a timely treatment can help you avoid future complications.
Posthitis is a fairly common condition and is generally not considered serious. But, if left untreated for prolonged periods, may lead to further complications.
Treatment for posthitis highly depends on the reason behind your condition. While most cases of posthitis can be easily treated through non-surgical treatments such as antibiotics or antifungal creams, severe or recurrent cases of posthitis may require surgical intervention (such as circumcision) as well.
As mentioned previously, a timely treatment for posthitis can help you not only avoid future complications but also the potential need for surgical treatments.
If you are exhibiting posthitis symptoms and seeking effective treatment, you can contact us and consult our highly qualified and experienced team of urologists. So what are you waiting for? Book an appointment with us today!