Balanitis refers to the disorder that is characterized by the inflammation of the glans penis. Balanitis that involves the foreskin and prepuce is termed as balanoposthitis. The most common complication that is formed as a result of this disease is the inability to draw in the foreskin of the glans penis. This condition is medically termed as phimosis.
Uncircumcised men who pay the least regard to sexual hygiene are found to be the mostly affected lot. Lack of proper exposure to air and the irritation caused by the retained moisture together with the discharge results in inflammation and edema. Phimosis is caused when the foreskin of the penis sticks to the inflamed area. Urinary retention is yet another consequence of balanitis. Rarely, balanitis ultimately results in “buried penis syndrome.”
Balanitis is not an uncommon condition and it has been estimated that eleven percent of the total adult population in the United States are affected by this disorder. Male kids are also likely to develop balanitis. However, balanitis is not a fatal irregularity, though phimosis is associated with chances of morbidity.
Balanitis is likely to develop in men belonging to all age groups. The characteristic feature of this disorder is the inability to retract foreskin and severe itching. Apart from these features, certain other symptoms are also found to be common in men suffering from balanitis. These include penile discharge, impotence, pain while passing urine, difficulty in controlling the urine stream, tenderness within the penis etc. In children, balantis results in frequent urinary tract infections.
Diabetes is found to be a common underlying cause that is associated with adult balanitis. Candidal species is the common cause of this disorder in diabetic patients. Other common causes of this disorder include poor personal hygiene, chemical irritants such as soap and petroleum jelly, drug allergies, severe obesity etc. Edematous conditions like congestive heart failure (right-sided), cirrhosis, and nephrosis are also found to pave the way for balanitis.