Has one day the mother's son cried while complaining of pain in the penis? Do not underestimate this condition, because pain in the penis area can be a sign of a serious disease. Itching of the penis can be a symptom of balanitis to watch out for.
In the medical world, balanitis is pain and inflammation (swelling and irritation) of the glans (head) of the penis that most commonly occurs in uncircumcised men. Balanitis is usually caused by a fungal infection, but it can also be caused by a bacterial or viral infection. However, this disease is not contagious. It is estimated that up to 10 percent of men have balanitis, and the condition is more likely to occur in uncircumcised men and boys under the age of 4.
What are the Symptoms of Balanitis in Children?
Symptoms of balanitis in children can appear suddenly or develop gradually. These symptoms include:
- Pain and irritation of the glans (head of the penis).
- Redness or red patches on the penis.
- Itching under the foreskin.
- Areas of shiny or white skin on the penis.
- White discharge (smegma) under the foreskin
- Smells bad
- Painful urination.
- Sores or lesions of the glands (this symptom is rare and occurs with the type of balanitis that affects men over the age of 60)
Causes of Balanitis in Children
Balanitis most commonly affects uncircumcised boys, because the warm, moist area under the foreskin is an ideal place for fungus and bacteria to grow. In children, there are several common causes of balanitis such as skin sensitivity to chemicals used every day, such as soap, psoriasis or eczema, or due to lack of hygiene in the genital area.
Meanwhile, in adults, there are several things that can cause balanitis, such as:
- Genital yeast infection (candidiasis).
- Sexually transmitted disease.
- Scabies infection (a tiny burrowing parasite).
- Reactive arthritis, a type of arthritis that develops in response to an infection somewhere in the body.
Balanitis will also more easily attack adult men with the following conditions:
- Middle age or older.
- People with diabetes, because the increase in glucose (sugar) in the skin can stimulate the growth of bacteria and fungi.
- Have a sexually transmitted disease.
Treatment for Balanitis?
Symptoms of balanitis that are quite disturbing need to get the right treatment immediately. Treatment for balanitis will usually depend on the cause. Some types of treatment that can be given include:
- Antifungal Cream. If a yeast infection is causing balanitis, your doctor will prescribe an antifungal cream such as clotrimazole to treat the infection. The mother also needs to apply the cream to the glans (head of the penis) and the foreskin of the child as prescribed.
- Antibiotics. If a sexually transmitted disease is the cause of your balanitis symptoms, your doctor will treat the infection with antibiotics. Antibiotics will depend on the type of infection.
- Better Cleanliness. Your doctor will recommend that your child wash and dry the area under the foreskin frequently to reduce the risk of balanitis recurring.
- Circumcision. If your child has recurrent symptoms of balanitis, the doctor may recommend circumcision. Circumcision is a surgical procedure in which the provider removes the foreskin that covers the penis.
There are also several home remedies to help relieve the symptoms of balanitis, including:
- Shower often. Clean the penis area every day. Be sure to pull the foreskin back, making it easier to clean the underside.
- Avoid Strong Soaps. Try not to use strong soaps or lotions that can irritate the skin.
- Keep It Dry. After urinating, ask the child to dry the area under the foreskin so that urine does not get trapped under the foreskin.
- Teach Proper Hygiene. Teach boys proper hygiene, especially if they haven't been circumcised.