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Balanitis is Inflammation of the foreskin of the penis in an uncircumcised male child.

Signs & Symptoms

  • Pain, redness and swelling of the head of the penis.
  • Inflammation of the foreskin.
  • Ulceration of the penis.
  • Enlarged lymph glands in the groin.
  • Chills and fever (rare).
  • Pustular discharge from the penis (rare).
  • Burning on urination (rare).

Infection from bacteria under the foreskin of the penis that invade the head of the penis.

Risk Increases With

  • Inadequate cleansing under the foreskin.
  • Trauma or minor injury to the foreskin and penis


  • Wash daily with soap and water. Avoid strong soaps. Cleanse under the foreskin.
  • Stretch a tight foreskin with daily gentle retraction.

Diagnostic Measures

  • Classical symptoms.
  • History and exam by a doctor.
  • Laboratory culture of the discharge from the infected area, in some cases.

Possible Complications

  • Ulceration of the penis.
  • Spread of infection to deeper skin layers of the penis shaft.

Probable Outcome
Usually curable in 1 to 2 weeks with medical treatment.

General Measures
Use warm-water soaks to relieve pain.

Your doctor may prescribe a safe antibiotic, mild analgesic, and some cream for applying

Contact Your Doctor

  • Your child has symptoms of balanitis.
  • Symptoms don't improve in 3 days, despite treatment.
  • Balanitis recurs. Consider circumcision.
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