Urology of Greater Atlanta

Balanitis Treatment

Balanitis is a treatable inflammatory condition that most commonly occurs in uncircumcised males and young boys. Treatments include antifungal cream, antibiotic creams, improved personal hygiene, and circumcision.

If you are experiencing pain, schedule a consultation and physical exam with one of our cosmetic urology specialists at the Urology of Greater Atlanta.

What is Balanitis?

There are three types of balanitis.

Balanitis, or as it’s sometimes called zoon’s balanitis, is one of the penile inflammatory skin disorders that happens when the head of the penis becomes swollen, red, and uncomfortable to the point of pain.

For example, balanoposthitis is an inflammation of the foreskin due to balanitis. 

Circinate balanitis is a form of reactive arthritis that causes white skin or scaly skin on the penis.

Pseudoepitheliomatous keratotic and micaceous balanitis is a form that presents as scaly warts on both the glans and foreskin in older men.

Balanitis Symptoms

Symptoms of balanitis include various skin conditions such as foul-smelling discharges, erectile dysfunction, itching, painful urination, bleeding on the foreskin, and sores on the penis. In extreme cases of balanitis, the swelling may reach the point where the foreskin becomes stuck on the glans in a condition known as phimosis 1. If intense swelling begins after pulling back the foreskin, the opposite condition of paraphimosis may occur. Paraphimosis is when the foreskin remains stuck behind the swollen head of the penis and can’t be pulled back down to cover it. 

Balanitis Causes

A bacterial or viral infection, including a variety of relatively common sexually transmitted diseases, reactive arthritis, and certain fungal infections, can cause you to develop balanitis. 

In the latter case, a genital yeast infection can also be a common cause. Another cause of balanitis is poor hygiene of the foreskin in uncircumcised males. 

Balanitis Treatment and Management

First and foremost, if you notice redness, swelling, or irritation of the uncircumcised penis or foreskin, contact your doctor, as they could be symptoms of balanitis, fungal growth, allergic reactions, or one of many sexually transmitted infections.

First, they will perform a physical examination and order lab testing of any discharge samples to determine the cause of the balanitis. 

Depending on the cause, your doctor will prescribe one of the following balanitis treatments depending on your risk factors.


If the cause of balanitis is a sexually transmitted disease (STD), medical providers prescribe oral antibiotics or antibiotic cream such as amoxicillin 2 for seven days. Erythromycin or clarithromycin can be prescribed as alternatives.

Antifungal Creams

Antifungal cream, including clotrimazole 3 and Lotrimin, treat balanitis caused by genital yeast infections or fungal infection by applying cream to the glans or head of the penis or foreskin over two weeks to one month.


Balanitis affects uncircumcised men, so instead of topical medication, the doctor may suggest circumcision to prevent future episodes. Medical providers also recommend this treatment when balanoposthitis occurs due to a tight foreskin or phimosis.

Improved Hygiene

Proper hygiene is essential when actively treating balanitis with any of the above treatments.

Simply handwashing before and after touching the penis prevents bacterial and fungal growth and bacterial balanitis.

However, do not use harsh chemicals when cleaning this sensitive body part. 

In some cases, intense skin irritation may cause balanitis, especially if the soaps contain chemical irritants or ingredients that might trigger an allergic reaction.


If you are experiencing pain or are considering a circumcision revision, high and tight circumcision, or loose circumcision, contact us today at one of our several locations, such as Blue Ridge or Sandy Springs, Georgia, to schedule a consultation near you.

Here at Urology of Greater Atlanta, we are ready to help. 

  1. UCSF Department of Urology. (n.). https://urology.ucsf.edu/patient-care/children/phimosis#.YsRW0HbMI7d
  2. National Library of Medicine. (2021). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK482250/
  3. National Library of Medicine. (2019). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK548320/

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