Balanoposthitis (say: bal-ah-no-pos-THI-tis) is inflammation of the foreskin and head of the penis.
Boys are born with a foreskin, a loose fold of skin that covers the head of the penis (called the glans). The foreskin and glans can become irritated and inflamed due to poor hygiene, excessive cleaning or retracting of the foreskin, infection, diaper rash, irritants like harsh soaps, or an injury. Balanoposthitis is more common in uncircumcised boys.
Balanoposthitis can cause itching, tenderness, and pain that may interfere with the foreskin's ability to retract. Treatment usually involves warm water sitz baths to keep the area clean, avoiding potential irritants, and applying medicated creams to decrease the inflammation and treat the infection. Sometimes oral medications are prescribed.
Balanoposthitis usually responds well to simple treatment and causes no lasting complications. If it happens repeatedly or leads to prolonged difficulty urinating (peeing), it can have more complications. Most cases of balanoposthitis can be avoided by keeping the foreskin and penis clean with gentle cleansing and avoiding harsh soaps.
All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.
|American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) The AAP is committed to the health and well-being of infants, adolescents, and young adults. The website offers news articles and tips on health for families.|
|American Academy of Family Physicians This site, operated by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), provides information on family physicians and health care, a directory of family physicians, and resources on health conditions.|
|Male Reproductive System The male reproductive system is essential to the perpetuation of life. Understanding it, what it does, and problems that can affect it can help you better understand your son's reproductive health.|
|Circumcision You have an important decision to make before you take your newborn son home: whether to circumcise him. Before deciding, talk to your doctor and consider the issues.|
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