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Balanitis is inflammation and possible infection of the glans (head) of the penis. It may be caused by fungus, bacteria, or an STD. It may also be caused by an allergic reaction to latex, spermicides, medicines such as antibiotics, or soaps. Balanitis usually happens due to poor hygiene practices.


Return to the emergency department if:

  • You have trouble urinating.

Call your doctor if:

  • Your symptoms get worse.
  • Your symptoms return after treatment is complete.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.


  • Medicines help fight or prevent an infection caused by bacteria or a fungus. This medicine may be given as a pill or a cream.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him of her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Sit in a sitz bath 2 to 3 times a day to reduce swelling:

  • Fill the bathtub 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm) with clean warm water.
  • Sit in the water for about 20 minutes each time.

Clean the area every day:

  • Push back the foreskin before cleaning.
  • Use a cotton swab to clean between the foreskin and the glans.
  • Clean with water only. Do not use soap.
  • Dry the area well.
  • Pull the foreskin back into place.

Control your blood sugar levels if you have diabetes:

Follow your recommended diabetes management plan.

Follow up with your doctor within 2 days:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Balanitis (Aftercare Instructions)

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Symptoms and treatments

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.