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Balanitis is inflammation of the glans penis. Balanitis involving the foreskin and prepuce is termed balanoposthitis. In 2015, European guidelines were published outlining the current management of balanoposthitis. The aims of management are to minimize sexual dysfunction and urinary dysfunction, as well as to exclude penile cancer, treat premalignant disease, and diagnose and treat STIs. Predisposing factors include poor hygiene and overwashing, use of over-the-counter medications, and nonretraction of the foreskin. Though uncommon, a complication of balanitis (usually only in recurrent cases) is constricting phimosis, or inability to retract the foreskin from the glans penis.
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Uncircumcised men with poor personal hygiene are most affected by balanitis. Lack of aeration and irritation because of smegma and discharge surrounding the glans penis causes inflammation and edema. Though uncommon, complications of balanitis include phimosis and cellulitis. Meatal stenosis with urinary retention may rarely accompany balanitis. In very few cases, balanitis may contribute to the "buried penis syndrome."
Balanitis is a common condition affecting an estimated 3-11% of males.
No mortality is associated with balanitis. Morbidity is associated with the complications of phimosis.
Among adult patients seen at Veterans Administration Hospital clinics, balanitis is seen twice as often in blacks and Hispanics. This may be related to different circumcision rates.
Balanitis can occur in males at any age. Etiologies vary depending on age.[3, 4]
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