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What is balanoposthitis?

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Balanoposthitis refers to inflammation of the foreskin and head of the penis. Symptoms include redness or swelling, itching, rash, pain and a foul-smelling discharge, according to WebMD. A similar condition, Balanitis, refers to inflammation of just the head of the penis.

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Poor hygiene is typically to blame for the condition, says WebMD, and it most often affects men and boys who have not been circumcised. Men with diabetes are more susceptible to balanoposthitis, because sugar in the urine that is trapped under the foreskin can serve as a breeding ground for bacteria and yeast.

Treatment for balanoposthis may involve antibiotic or antifungal medication, but proper hygiene can prevent future flare-ups. The Mayo Clinic suggests regularly cleaning beneath the foreskin with soap and water to prevent balanoposthitis. WebMD says that, in severe cases, a circumcision may be recommended.

Balanoposthis is also common in dogs, according to the Merck Veterinary Manual. Treatment is not typically necessary, and the condition improves without any owner intervention. The condition can reoccur regardless of the therapy provided, and owners need not worry except in extreme cases.

MedicineNet explains that "balano-", refers to the head of the penis and comes from the Greek word "balanos," meaning acorn. The term "posthitis" comes from the Greek "posthe" and means foreskin.

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