Balanitis and Balanoposthitis – what’s the difference?

Balanitis is an inflammation that affects only the skin of the glans penis.

Balanoposthitis is an inflammation of both the skin of the glans penis and the inner layer of the foreskin.

Statistics indicate that balanoposthitis occurs more often, which is divided into stages into simple, erosive and gangrenous.

If balanoposthitis is a complication of the underlying disease, the cause can be both a non-infectious disease (psoriasis, diabetes mellitus, etc.) and an infectious disease (more often candidiasis, in other cases, chlamydia, herpes, gonorrhea, syphilis).

Other predisposing factors:

– violations of personal hygiene (complete absence or temporary impossibility of performing hygienic measures), as a result of which secretions of the sebaceous and sweat glands accumulate, partially – urine residues, which contributes to the rapid reproduction of microorganisms;

trauma to the genitals (including trauma during intercourse, small tears of the narrowed foreskin when opening the head, trauma with underwear), followed by infection;

– irritation of the delicate mucous membrane when trying to self-medicate (here the list of liquids and drugs is quite large in view of the well-developed imagination of some patients);

At the very beginning of the disease, redness (hyperemia), tissue edema (from slight to pronounced), rashes or maceration of mucous membranes, whitish plaque on the head and skin of the foreskin develop. During the entire disease, itching and burning in the head area may be present.

With inaction on the part of the patient, the further development of the inflammatory process occurs – surface single or multiple isolated erosions of various shapes and sizes are formed, which can subsequently merge with each other. Erosions are gradually covered with purulent discharge, surrounded on the periphery by scraps of epithelial tissue.

At the site of erosion, the formation of whitish areas of dead tissue occurs, large sharply delimited surface erosion of a bright red color with a rim along the periphery is formed. Often the local inflammatory process is accompanied by painful regional lymphangitis and acute inflammatory lymphadenitis of the regional inguinal lymph nodes.

Currently, it is rare to find patients with more advanced cases of inflammation, but, nevertheless, in rare cases, among the asocial layers of the population, it is possible to observe the further development of the inflammatory process – gangrenous balanoposthitis.

Gangrenous balanoposthitis is characterized by an increase in body temperature, general weakness, malaise and pain in the affected organ. Against the background of edema and hyperemia of the glans penis and foreskin, deep purulent-necrotic ulcers of various sizes appear. Ulcers heal slowly with the formation of scar tissue.

Of the complications, acute inflammatory phimosis often develops. In rare cases, perforation of the foreskin.

It is important to remember that the examination and treatment is prescribed by the attending physician. The most commonly used laboratory parameters are presented below (it is not necessary that you will need to take all tests):

Clinical blood test;
General urine analysis;
Culture of urine for flora and antibiotic sensitivity;
Sowing ejaculate for flora and antibiotic sensitivity;
Sowing a smear from the affected surface;
A swab from the urethra for research by PCR for the main pathogens.
It is also necessary to carry out an examination of the partner.

To date, no means have yet been invented that will protect you 100%, but by following the minimum recommendations given below, you will reduce the likelihood of inflammation


Performing hygiene procedures using detergents (gel or soap, preferably the usual one, without additives) daily, as well as before and after intercourse;
Sex with casual partners, as well as anal sex only with the use of a condom;
The use of antiseptics such as miramistin, chlorhexidine after each unprotected intercourse;
When the first signs of inflammation appear, it is necessary to refrain from sexual intercourse and, without delaying, consult a doctor, because it is always easier and faster to cure the ailment at the beginning.

Be healthy!