Q:

What is balanitis?

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Quick Answer

Balanitis is an inflammation of the foreskin or head of the penis, states Healthline. The swelling commonly occurs in uncircumcised men, often due to poor hygiene and the overpopulation of opportunistic bacteria. Although often painful, in most cases balanitis is not serious and can often be remedied with topical medication.

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Full Answer

Symptoms of balanitis include a tightened foreskin, pain or itching in the affected area, and possible discharge, states Medline Plus. If discharge is present, the area is often swabbed by a doctor and tested for a bacterial, viral or fungal infection. If an infection is present, an antibiotic or anti-fungal medication is prescribed. Balanitis is avoided with good hygiene practices, drying the penis completely after showering, and not applying perfumes or deodorizers on the penis.

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