What is acute balanitis and balanoposthitis in men and why are they dangerous?
Acute balanoposthitis is an inflammatory process that develops in the head of the penis and brings a lot of discomfort and pain. The treatment of the disease should be started immediately to prevent the progression of infection and the spread of the pathological process to the urethra and other parts of the urinary system.
Causes of the disease
Inflammation of the glans penis can develop due to infectious and non-infectious factors. Most often, the disease occurs as a result of penetration of pathogens under the foreskin.
There are other reasons for the development of the disease:
- Non-observance of personal hygiene. Under the foreskin, favorable conditions are created for the growth and development of pathogenic and opportunistic microorganisms.
- Sexually transmitted diseases. They lead to the development of the inflammatory process in all departments of the genitourinary system.
- Frequent change of sexual partners, promiscuous intimate life without the use of barrier methods of contraception (condom).
- Frequent sex, in which there is a sharp displacement of the foreskin, which leads to its irritation and trauma with the further development of inflammation.
- Phimosis. Promotes the rapid occurrence of balanoposthitis. This is due to the fact that as a result of the narrowing of the foreskin, it is impossible to completely expose the head in order to conduct hygiene procedures.
- Urethritis. Untimely treatment of the disease can provoke the spread of the pathological process to the glans penis.
- Adverse effects of chemicals. This can be a lubricant in a condom or other methods of contraception, cosmetics for intimate hygiene, poor-quality, synthetic or too tight underwear.
- Traumatic damage to the reproductive organ.
- Autoimmune diseases.
The clinical manifestations of balanoposthitis in men depend on the stage and form of the disease. The first signs appear suddenly and, in the absence of timely treatment, progress rapidly.
- Acute catarrhal balanoposthitis is accompanied by the appearance of edema of the prepuce (foreskin) and the glans penis. Small spots or papules occasionally appear, a gray-white coating forms. There are pains and burning during urination due to irritation of the mucous membrane.
The doctor can diagnose balanoposthitis according to the results of examination of the penis in the patient. However, in order to determine the cause of the inflammation, additional studies should be carried out. The main ones are:
- Bacteriological inoculation of material to establish the pathogen and determine its sensitivity to antibacterial drugs.
- Test with potassium hydroxide. It is carried out in case of suspected fungal etiology of the disease.
- PCR It is necessary for suspected viral nature of balanoposthitis. An analysis is being carried out to determine sexually transmitted diseases, including genital herpes.
The diagnostic scheme also includes general clinical research methods. The patient must pass a general urine and blood test. This will allow you to assess the patient’s condition and establish the extent of infection in all parts of the urogenital tract (urethra, bladder, ureters, kidneys).
Regardless of the type of acute balanitis or balanoposthitis, secrete a number of common factors that can provoke the development of the disease:
- The development of pathogenic microorganisms in the preputial sac as a result of insufficient personal hygiene, weakened immunity, infection from the urethra or during unprotected intercourse,
- An allergic reaction to contraceptives, various medications for topical use, a reaction to the partner's vagina, etc.,
- Penis trauma during forced exposure of the head of the penis,
- Hormonal disruptions,
- Various chronic diseases: diabetes, cirrhosis, psoriasis, etc.
These causes can cause acute balanitis or balanoposthitis, but there are also a number of specific reasonsspecific to specific varieties of the disease. The exact pathogenesis of the disease is determined by the doctor after carrying out diagnostic measures.
The disease begins with subtle symptoms, which with the progression of the infection manifest themselves more and more clearly:
- Is developing hyperemia of the epidermis of the head of the penis, maceration and swelling. The patient begins to experience burning and itching in the area of prepuce. Sexual intercourse or an attempt to expose the glans penis is accompanied by severe discomfort,
- Smegma and drops of urine begin to accumulate in the inflamed preputial sac, which only increases irritation and contributes to the development of infection,
- As the disease develops, the penis appears pinkish or purple rash,
- The patient begins to experience symptoms of general intoxication: headache, chills, nausea, hyperthermia, etc. This is a characteristic sign of the acute course of balanitis or balanoposthitis,
- Due to infection purulent discharge appears from the preputial sac, acute purulent balanoposthitis develops.
If at this stage you do not start an urgent treatment of the disease, then it goes into an erosive form. The following symptoms are characteristic of it:
- The appearance on the skin of whitish growths - areas of dead epidermis,
- Deep inflammation leads to rupture of the mucous membrane and skin. On the head of the penis and prepuce, bright red erosion is formed with clear boundaries.
Their surface may be covered with pus. The patient is experiencing acute pain. It’s impossible to expose the glans penis,
If a man’s immune system is weakened and acute balanitis or balanoposthitis is not started, the infection becomes gangrenous:
- In local symptoms, signs of general intoxication of the body join: weakness, headache, hyperthermia up to 39 ° C, nausea,
- Due to suppuration of erosion, multiple deep ulcers with purulent discharge form on the skin and mucous membranes of the penis.
- As a result of severe swelling, the penis takes the form of a bell,
- A necrotic process in the area of prepuce can lead to perforation and decay of the foreskin.
Local treatment of the disease
At the initial stages of the disease, the patient should strengthen the implementation of hygiene procedures using infusions based on medicinal herbs. For this purpose, you can use chamomile, plantain, St. John's wort and other plants with antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antiseptic properties.
Good results are shown with the use of local baths with the addition of antiseptics. A weak solution of potassium permanganate or furatsillina is suitable for this. The duration of the procedure is 5-10 minutes 3-4 times a day. During treatment of balanoposthitis, the glans penis should be exposed to rinse all hard-to-reach spots.
With all forms of balanoposthitis, medications in the form of an ointment are mandatory. This provides a long-term effect of healing components on the pathological focus. For this purpose, Levomekol is most often used. This drug has a complex composition, due to which it has an antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effect.
In acute uncomplicated balanoposthitis, other ointments can also be used - Derozolon, Lorinden-S, Lamixil, etc.
If fungi become the cause of inflammation of the glans penis, it is advisable to use antimycotic drugs (Batrafen, Klortimazol, Mikogal, Terbinafine, etc.).
With the autoimmune nature of balanoposthitis, drugs are used that include antiallergic and antiseptic components. These are medicines based on Flumatazone Pivalate.
A powerful anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antihistamine effect is possessed by glucocorticosteroid ointments. Most commonly used are prednisone, Lokoid, or Elidel. These funds not only quickly relieve pain, but also eliminate itching and swelling of tissues, contribute to the rapid improvement of human well-being.
Diagnosis and treatment of this disease engaged in a urologist and dermatovenerologist. For an accurate diagnosis, it is necessary to take a blood and urine test, a smear from the urethra.
Balanitis and balanoposthitis should be differentiated from syphilis, herpes viruses and human papillomas, which manifest themselves with similar symptoms. That is why only a specialist should deal with the diagnosis of the disease.
Systemic disease treatment
Erosive and gangrenous forms of balanoposthitis require the use of systemic drugs. This is due to the fact that the pathological process is not localized, but spreads to nearby areas, which leads to a deterioration in the general well-being of a person.
In the treatment of complicated balanoposthitis, the following drug groups are used:
- Antibacterial agents. Indicated for use if pathogens are caused by pathogens. In the treatment of balanoposthitis, antimicrobial agents of a wide spectrum of action are used. These include Cefazolin, Ceftriaxone, Azithromycin, and others. The antibiotic should be used in accordance with the doctor's prescriptions, adhering to the dosage, frequency of use and duration of the course. In no case should you interrupt treatment when you feel better, this threatens a relapse of the disease or a transition to the chronic stage.
- Antifungal agents. To enhance the effect of antimycotic ointments, the use of systemic drugs - Diflucan, Fluconazole, Flucostat, etc. is indicated.
- In the treatment of viral balanoposthitis, Acyclovir, Zovirax, Tsevirin, Herperax and others are used. They have good efficacy in relation not only to the causative agent of herpes, but also to other viruses.
Surgical treatment of balanoposthitis is sometimes indicated. It consists in circumcision of the foreskin, under which favorable conditions are created for the development of the inflammatory process.
For drug therapy of acute balanoposthitis in men, the following treatment regimens are recommended:
- In the initial stages of the disease, they are prescribed baths with an antiseptic: a weak solution of potassium permanganate, the mood of chamomile or sage, hydrogen peroxide,
- With an erosive form, they are prescribed broad spectrum antibiotic: Levomycetin, Doxycycline, etc.
The course is from 7 to 14 days.
In the treatment with antibacterial agents, supportive therapy should also be prescribed, since they have a depressing effect on various body systems, primarily on the digestive tract,
Before starting treatment, find out the cause of the disease. This article will help you figure it out.
The choice of therapy should be occupied only by a doctor, since all treatment regimens are prescribed individually.
Along with taking medications should observe good personal hygiene. It is necessary to remove the head of the penis from prepuce, rinse thoroughly with clean warm water and soap without perfumes, then gently pat it with a towel or disposable napkins.
In conjunction with standard treatment regimens, supportive therapy to strengthen immunity and vitamin complexes should also be taken.
If phimosis joins the main infection or the disease passes into the gangrenous form, then surgery. The surgeon excises the foreskin and removes the affected tissue. The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis and takes no more than half an hour.
Acute balanitis and balanoposthitis is a rather unpleasant and painful infection, but it can be successfully treated. Timely diagnosis and proper treatment will allow you to quickly recover and avoid the development of complications.
The lack of timely treatment for acute inflammation often leads to the formation of a chronic form of balanoposthitis, in which frequent relapses are recorded.
Other complications are the following pathologies:
- The spread of the inflammatory process deep into the urinary tract. It leads to the development of urethritis, cystitis and other diseases.
- Cicatricial phimosis. Due to cicatricial changes in tissues, cicatricial narrowing of the foreskin is formed.
- Paraphimosis Infringement of the head of the penis by a pathologically altered foreskin. This leads to severe swelling of the head and a violation of its blood supply.
- Decreased sensitivity of receptors located on the glans penis. Intimate relationships lose their appeal.
- Lymphagenitis The lymphatic vessels located in the penis are involved in the pathological process. Inflammation spreads to nearby (inguinal) lymph nodes, provoking the development of lymphadenitis.
- Malignant neoplasm. It occurs with a prolonged course of balanoposthitis, accompanied by the formation of ulcers and erosion, which provokes the degeneration of organ cells.
To prevent the occurrence of balanoposthitis, a man must follow the rules of personal hygiene. Every day, make a thorough toilet of the external genitalia with the obligatory exposure of the glans penis to prevent the accumulation of death, residual urine and other types of pollution.
Intimate life should be orderly, promiscuous sexual contacts are unacceptable. A person should always use barrier methods of contraception to prevent infection with sexually transmitted infections, thrush and other diseases.
Lead a healthy lifestyle: give up bad habits, engage in physical education or sports, organize a full and balanced diet. This will not only strengthen the immune system and increase the body's own defenses, but also normalize weight.
An important role in the prevention of balanoposthitis is played by timely examination and treatment of the sexual partner. After all, a violation of the normal composition of the microflora of the vagina and the development of dysbiosis in a woman can provoke the occurrence of balanoposthitis in a man.