Male external genitals due to their anatomical features are constantly in contact with the environment. The skin of the glans penis and the inner leaf of the foreskin are relatively sensitive to the effects of aggressive factors and are relatively easily inflamed. Balanitis is an inflammation of the skin of the glans penis. Post - inflammation of the inner leaf of the foreskin. Since, in the presence of the foreskin, its inner leaf is always in contact with the head, inflammation applies to both elements. Consequently, the post and balanitis in most cases develop simultaneously and are united under one term - balanoposthitis. Of course, this disease can develop only in uncircumcised men, since otherwise the foreskin is absent.
Types and symptoms of balanoposthitis
The disease is divided into many types, depending on what caused its development. When describing each subtype of the disease, its most characteristic clinical manifestations will be indicated.
Simple catarrhal balanoposthitis
It is one of the most common subspecies with which doctors often have to deal. Such balanoposthitis develops in a patient after contact with various stimuli (chemical, mechanical). Often the cause of the disease is a man’s failure to observe basic rules of personal hygiene. Gradually, smegma accumulates under the foreskin, which is a good breeding ground for bacteria and fungi.
A man develops the following symptoms:
- pain in the glans penis;
- foreskin reddens and swells;
- purulent contents accumulate between the head and the foreskin;
- phimosis, urinary retention - all this threatens the patient in the absence of timely treatment.
Candida balanoposthitis (erosive)
Not only women can get candidiasis. Relatively often, this disease affects men. In most cases, urogenital candidiasis is manifested in the form of balanoposthitis.
- The glans penis and the inner leaf of the foreskin swell and become bright red.
- Sometimes on the head appear separately located bright spots.
- Due to the activity of fungi on the head is constantly present cheesy discharge, which have a rather unpleasant smell, provoke itching and burning.
- In the absence of radical and timely treatment, red spots can become eroded or even ulcers, which are located on the skin of the head or foreskin.
Such a course of the disease develops in those cases of balanoposthitis, which are caused by the causative agents of venereal diseases, the herpes virus, and are a consequence of the progression of diabetes mellitus. The form is dangerous because there is a high probability of developing urethritis and prostatitis. The infection rises up the urinary tract and can reach the kidneys (pyelonephritis), because it has enough time for that. In cases where the pathogen enters the deferent channel, inflammation of the testicular appendages may develop, and in the most difficult case, provoke infertility.
- The head of the male penis is distinguished by some dryness, slight redness and soreness - these are the main manifestations of chronic balanoposthitis.
- In some cases, the symptoms are so minor that the man does not even suspect anything about the ongoing process.
Acute balanoposthitis is provoked by staphylococcal or streptococcal microflora. It is characterized by the following manifestations:
- it all starts with minor painful sensations in the head and foreskin, with time it all intensifies;
- the skin of the head turns red, swells somewhat, and the patient begins to be disturbed by pronounced itching.
If you do not carry out his timely treatment, the disease is likely to become chronic.
This form is characterized by a change in periods of remission and relapse. In those days, when the disease recedes, the patient is not disturbed by anything, and he does not go to the doctors. Exacerbations periodically occur, and all symptoms return. The symptoms are similar to those that develop in acute form, but are slightly weaker. It turns out that a man always has the risk of developing a complication of the disease.
Acute purulent balanoposthitis
This form of pus microflora is provoked: staphylococcus, streptococcus, yeast. Especially increases the likelihood of the development of this form in patients with diabetes mellitus, because the bacteria can develop in the best conditions.
- On the head of the penis and the inner leaflet of the foreskin appear deep lesions of purulent-necrotic nature.
- The glans penis is edematous and has a bright red color, which indicates an active inflammatory process.
If you do not seek treatment in a timely manner, the disease can go from the milder and the stages to the ulcerative form.
- On the surface of the inflamed head, numerous small sores appear. At the same time, even simple walking causes discomfort to the person, painful urination, and sexual intercourse is impossible.
- Violation of the integrity of the skin makes the body defenseless in front of many harmful factors. As a result, microorganisms are more likely to get inside and cause inflammation of the inguinal lymph nodes.
Traumatic balanitis and balanoposthitis
In most cases, the cause of the development of this form is not the injury resulting from a blow or any incident. Wearing too tight underwear is the main cause of the disease. If the laundry is not thoroughly rinsed after washing, large amounts of detergents may remain on it, which, upon contact, will cause a minor burn of the skin of the penis and provoke traumatic balan-positis.
- Redness and swelling of the glans penis can be observed both on the entire surface and locally, in the place of application of an adverse factor.
- If the impact was significant, then the trunk of the penis can also change, where the skin is less sensitive and better protected.
Erythroplasia keira and zun balanitis
These are two outwardly similar diseases with a radically different prognosis. Zun balanitis has a benign prognosis, but erythroplasia is a disease with a malignant course that requires immediate treatment with radical methods, because in the most difficult case, the patient’s life may be in danger.
- Everything looks like skin atrophy on the head of the penis. Gradually pink plaques appear, not merging with each other.
- If we are talking about a very neglected case, then vegetations, erosion and ulcers can be detected on the head.
- Remarkably, the patient has almost nothing to worry about, except for the modified appearance of the penis.
As a result of this disease, the glans penis can not be exposed, leaving the foreskin. At the same time, all tissues swell, become red and painful. Most often, this balanoposthitis develops in children, since their foreskin fits the head more tightly, and many still have physiological phimosis.
With this form of the disease, doctors very often suggest a surgical method of treatment - circumcision (circumcision of the foreskin).
Like all other allergic diseases, it appears after contact of the skin of the foreskin and the head of the penis with an allergen. The most common allergies to external genital organs are provoked by: latex condoms, other contraceptives, personal care products with a large number of chemical additives, flavors and dyes. Relatively rarely affects the penis when ingested allergen.
Symptoms of allergic balanoposthitis:
- severe itching;
- allergic rash;
- swelling of the head and foreskin of the penis;
- blisters and slight erosion.
It develops in most cases in patients with diabetes mellitus or alcohol abusers. A characteristic feature is that at the onset of the disease the inflammation of the head is not very pronounced, but subsequently the process becomes so active that phimosis develops. From the preputial bag of the patient (the space between the head and the foreskin) liquid pus is released. Doctors always seek to cure the patient before exposing the head becomes impossible. Otherwise, it is more difficult to follow the rules of personal hygiene and diagnose the disease.
With this form of the disease, a large number of festering lesions form on the affected skin. The general condition of the patient at the same time, is also an order of magnitude heavier than with other forms. The inguinal lymph nodes increase, and the body temperature reaches quite high numbers. Gangrene of the head progresses very quickly, which necessitates timely treatment. Otherwise, in the early period, bleeding may develop, and in the later period - deformation of the penis due to the growth of connective tissue. In the most severe cases, the complete destruction of the head is possible.
According to the mechanism of development, the form is close to traumatic. Inflammation in patients occurs in response to constant and regular irritation of the skin of the head of the foreskin:
- non-compliance with personal hygiene;
- very frequent masturbation;
- excessive use of makeup cosmetics;
- lack of natural lubrication from the sexual partner;
- congenital narrowness of the flesh, etc.
Diagnosis of balanoposthitis
It all starts with a visit to the venereologist. The doctor conducts a general and local examination of the patient, collects a thorough history and listens to complaints. Many patients believe that all this is not so important and does not relate with due responsibility to this part of the diagnosis. In fact, patients are recommended to prepare in advance for a visit to the doctor, think about hygiene and remember all the factors that could cause the disease or increase the likelihood of its development.
Categorically it is impossible to conceal important facts from a physician, even if it is embarrassing to talk about them. The doctor will not go to talk about them all around, because he observes medical secrecy. A hidden fact can lead physicians on the wrong path, and the patient and his body will suffer as a result. In addition to increasing the risk of side effects, a large number of unnecessary medication may be in vain.
- General clinical blood test - there doctors can detect changes indicating inflammation in the body.
- Smear from the affected surface - allows you to take part of the pathological material, and later doctors with it can do differently:
- research under a microscope, which sometimes allows to determine the type of pathogen;
- sowing of the obtained material on the nutrient medium - subsequently a colony of microbes grows there, and doctors can easily determine its type;
- Special nutrient media allow you to check the sensitivity of microbes to antibiotics, which allows you to immediately assign the most appropriate treatment.
- PCR (polymerase chain reaction) is a modern diagnostic method that allows to determine the pathogen of the disease with the highest accuracy even by a small fragment of its genetic material, which is abundantly present in the detachable skin.
- Determining blood sugar levels - can confirm that a patient has diabetes, which predisposes to the development of individual forms of balanoposthitis.
- Research on sexually transmitted diseases.
- If a malignant process is suspected - cytological and histological examination.
- Allergic test is the most informative if the likely cause of inflammation is a hypersensitivity reaction.
Tactics of doctors depends on what caused the development of the disease in each particular case.
- First of all, the patient must carefully follow all rules of personal hygiene. Often the disease develops due to the fact that the man does not pay due attention to this aspect. As a result, the smegma accumulates under the foreskin, and bacteria begin to multiply.
- Antibacterial drugs are used by doctors in cases where it is proved that microorganisms are the cause of inflammation. Ideally, doctors should conduct tests for the sensitivity of bacteria to the drugs used.
- Antifungal substances - relevant for Candida balanoposthitis.
- Removal of the foreskin is a sufficiently effective measure, which sometimes has to be resorted to by doctors. Especially often this operation is performed with recurrent balanoposthitis, an adhesive form of the disease, when complications are high, and inflammation continues to originate between the foreskin and the head of the penis.
- If the etiology of the disease is allergic, then limiting contact with the allergen is the most effective and indispensable condition for treatment.
- Elimination of phimosis - such a measure is often necessary for young children, who often have physiological phimosis. Modern drugs allow you to open the head conservatively, using special ointments and performing exercises. Doctors can perform surgery, also eliminating phimosis.
- For the period of treatment, the man uses a special device (silicone ring-retractor), which pushes the foreskin back and fixes it there. Due to this, the head is quickly cleared and eliminated a kind of bag, in which everything was collected earlier.
If there is a desire to treat balanoposthitis with folk remedies, then you must first discuss all the details with your doctor. If he approves this measure, it is important to remember: folk remedies must complement the basic methods, and not replace them completely. Only in this case will it be possible to achieve a good result.