The treatment for balanitis may include antibiotics, steroids or anti-fungals, depending on what is causing the condition, according to MedlinePlus. Balanitis is a condition in which the foreskin and head of the penis become painful and swollen. It can be caused by poor hygiene or disease.
Although poor hygiene in uncircumcised men is the most common cause of balanitis, it can also be caused by harsh soaps or not rinsing soap off properly, according MedlinePlus. Diseases such as uncontrolled diabetes, infection, lichen sclerosis et atrophicus and reactive arthritis can also cause balanitis.
When balanitis caused by a bacteria, antibiotic creams or pills may be prescribed, states MedlinePlus. Steroid creams are used for the treatment of skin diseases. Sometimes balanitis is caused by a fungus, which is treated with anti-fungal creams. In severe cases, circumcision may be required, especially if the patient is unable to pull back the foreskin for cleaning.
Symptoms of balanitis include a red or swollen head of the penis or foreskin, pain and a foul-smelling discharge, according to MedlinePlus. Balanitis can lead to several complications, including the inability to retract the foreskin over the head of the penis, scarring or narrowing the opening to the penis, and an increased risk of penile cancer.