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What is penile inflammation or balanitis?

Balanitis refers to the inflammation of the glans penis (head of the penis). It is a common condition among uncircumcised (foreskin not surgically removed) males caused due to poor hygiene and accumulation of yeast and other microorganisms under the foreskin. This leads to balanoposthitis (inflammation of the glans and the foreskin) and inflammation of the surrounding penile tissue. It is more commonly seen in immunocompromised individuals such as those with HIV, diabetes and cancer.

What are its main signs and symptoms?

The clinical presentation usually seen in balanitis includes:

  • Itchiness
  • Tenderness
  • Pain in the area or painful erections
  • Redness and rashes
  • Swelling
  • Discharge with a strong odour

Other conditions that can mimic the symptoms seen in balanitis include:

  • Phimosis (tightness of the foreskin)
  • Paraphimosis (retracted foreskin cannot be pulled forward to its original position)

What are its main causes?

It is caused by the overgrowth of microorganisms usually present on the skin of the glans. The warm moist environment makes it favourable for the growth of such organisms. It is mainly due to infections caused by the fungus Candida albicans. Conditions like diabetes and certain skin conditions may cause balanitis and worsen it. Poor hygiene can also cause balanitis. Sweat, bacteria, debris and dead skin can collect under the foreskin, causing itching and irritation. Presence of tight foreskin can aggravate this problem, as the area cannot be washed properly.

Other causes may include:

  • Dermatitis/allergic conditions: Inflammation of the skin due to contact with irritants in soaps, perfumes, detergents and spermicides, causing rashes and irritation.
  • Infections: Certain sexually transmitted diseases like gonorrhoea, herpes and syphilis produce symptoms of balanitis.

How is it diagnosed and treated?

Diagnosis of balanitis is made by:

  • Clinical symptoms: Erythematous rash with itchiness and soreness.
  • Appearance: Red patches with small papules or dull red with a glazed appearance.
  • Microscopy: To detect the organism responsible for the infection.
  • Skin biopsy: Only if the diagnosis remains unclear.
  • Urine analysis: To check for the presence of glucose.

Treatment includes:

  • Antibiotics to treat bacterial infection.
  • Steroid creams for inflammation.
  • Anti-fungal medicines can be used to take care of fungal infections.
  • In severe cases, circumcision may be the best option, as the tight skin can hinder cleaning the area.
  • Normal saline washes to clean the area.

Self-care tips:

  • Until the pain subsides completely, avoid sexual contact and masturbation.
  • Make a note of pain-relieving medicines that can be taken when required.
  • An ice pack placed on the inflamed area can help minimise pain and swelling.
  • Use of snug-fitting underpants can support the painful area.
  • Check for any blood around the penis or in the urine, as it could indicate severe inflammation or injury and consulting the doctor is essential in such cases.
  • Avoid the use of harsh chemicals like soap. Soap-free washes are recommended.
  • Try retracting the foreskin during urination to clean the area and prevent any further chances of infection.
  • Partners are generally not treated unless they have symptoms.
  1. Medicines for Penile Inflammation (Balanitis)

Medicines for Penile Inflammation (Balanitis)

Medicines listed below are available for Penile Inflammation (Balanitis). Please note that you should not take any medicines without doctor consultation. Taking any medicine without doctor's consultation can cause serious problems.

Medicine NamePack SizePrice (Rs.)
Acicet TabletAcicet 200 Mg Tablet Dt49.0
AciherpinAciherpin 200 Mg Tablet57.0
AcivexAcivex 200 Mg Tablet Dt78.0
AxovirAxovir 250 Mg Injection258.0
Lovir (Eli Lilly)Lovir 400 Mg Tablet124.0
NeoclovirNeoclovir 250 Mg Injection218.0
TriclovirTriclovir 400 Mg Tablet120.0
TrikaseTrikase 800 Mg Tablet233.0
VazovirVazovir 500 Mg Injection670.0
Vir InjectionVir 250 Mg Injection471.0
AcivAciv 400 Mg Tablet110.0
AcivirAcivir 200 Mg Tablet Dt66.0
AclovirAclovir 200 Mg Tablet55.0
AtcAtc 800 Mg Capsule38.0
CyclopizCyclopiz 200 Mg Tablet55.0
DocvirDocvir 400 Mg Tablet Dt51.0
GlenviraxGlenvirax 200 Mg Tablet18.0
HerperaxHerperax 200 Mg Tablet36.0
HerpesafeHerpesafe 400 Mg Tablet Dt66.0
HerpexHerpex 100 Mg Tablet81.0
HerpikindHerpikind 200 Mg Tablet72.0
HerzovirHerzovir 250 Mg Injection465.0
LovirLovir 200 Mg Tablet365.0
NorbitaNorbita 400 Mg Tablet12.0
OcuvirOcuvir 120 Mg Suspension128.0
OptiviralOptiviral 200 Mg Tablet51.0
PsyvirPsyvir 400 Mg Tablet137.0
RivolRivol 200 Mg Tablet60.0
ViraxVirax 800 Mg Tablet211.0
ZosterZoster 5%W/W Cream15.0
ZoviraxZovirax 200 Mg Tablet33.0
ZovistarZovistar 200 Mg Tablet56.0
ZoylexZoylex 500 Mg Injection670.0
Zoylex RdZoylex Rd 250 Mg Injection529.0
RhovirRhovir 800 Mg Tablet204.0
ZovirZovir 400 Mg Tablet129.0
ClovirClovir 5% Ointment37.63
OpthovirOpthovir 3% Ointment46.66
SetuvirSetuvir 5% Cream36.4
ToxinexToxinex 3% Eye Ointment65.0
ViraVira Eye Ointment38.25
VirinoxVirinox 3% W/W Eye Ointment43.5
VirucidVirucid 3% Eye Ointment49.95
YavirYavir 3% Eye Ointment38.0
AcyclovirAcyclovir 5% W/W Eye Ointment67.17
ClovidermCloviderm 5% Ointment18.75
EyevirEyevir 3% Eye Ointment45.0
Primacort PlusPrimacort Plus 5% Cream66.67

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