The condition known as balanitis is defined as the presence of an inflammation on the head of the penis and is also extended to include the inflamed foreskin in male genitalia. Physical symptoms of the disorder can include the development of an itchy sensation in the area; the area also turns very red, and can turn moist at times.
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Wet diapers or the use of wet clothing is the major cause for balanitis in infants-the physical irritation from the wet clothes causes the condition in this cases. Balanitis as a condition is also brought about due to bacterial or yeast infection along the genital region. In addition, the condition can also be brought about by physical injury.
It can also result due to the presence of some sort of physical irritation from the chemicals found in clothing, in things like condoms, or in the spermicidal powders or creams used by the person. Balanitis tends to be very common as a condition in men affected by diabetes; this is because the sugar present in the urine can greatly encourage the growth of microbes in the pubic area.
The frequent changing of baby diapers is a good way of treating balanitis in infants, at the same time the genital area of the infant must be kept clean and dry at all times in order to discourage the growth of microbes. Other good solutions are the use of disposable diapers at all times; these diapers will retain the exuded urinal fluid while allowing the circulation of air in the area.
This is a very important factor as the stagnant air may greatly contribute to the problem of bacterial or fungal growth in the region. The presence of detergent residues can also be the cause of irritation in the genital region of infants, especially if cotton diapers are being used on the baby.
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Other possible cause of the problems in infants can be the use of any kind of perfumes or the chemical additives in soaps used in bathing the baby. Additional and other possible causes of irritation lie in the powders used to dry the baby following baths, for example, if these do not work properly-they may not be able to stop the growth of microbes in the genital region of the baby.
Because of the similarity of the physical symptoms of the condition to the symptoms which are caused by more many different and much more serious illnesses, the presence or evidence of all such physical symptoms should prompt a visit to the doctor immediately for a thorough check-up and proper diagnosis-this should be done at all times even though the condition of balanitis by itself is not considered very serious.
Balanitis has numerous signs and symptoms, which help the physician to identify this health condition. Some of the signs and symptoms of this condition may include inflammation of the glans; irritation of the glans; the region in the vicinity of the glans or the penis head becoming red; pain of the glans and itchiness in the area around the glans.
In addition, people enduring balanitis are likely to experience a lumpy and dense discharge from beneath the foreskin; a horrible smell; pain during passing urine; and a condition known as phimosis wherein the foreskin becomes taut and does not withdraw or pull back. It may be noted that the pain, itching as well as the discharge beneath the foreskin usually take place two to three days following a sexual intercourse by the patient.
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Specific herbs have proved to be effective in lessening the pain as well as inflammation caused by balanitis. However, it is important to consult your physician prior to taking any herb to treat balanitis. A number of herbs and supplements that may prove to be useful in treating this condition are discussed in brief below.
You may slice freshly obtained garlic cloves and include them in soups, casseroles, stir-fry dishes and burritos. It may be noted that garlic encloses allicin, a chemical compound that may facilitate in combating bacterial contagions that are responsible for balanitis. This herb also encloses vitamin C, a nutrient that naturally improves the immune system. However, prior to consuming garlic for treating balanitis, it is essential for you to consult with your physician, since this herb may get in the way of blood coagulation.
Alternately, peel a leaf of the herb aloe vera and apply its gel to the affected area twice or thrice every day. Aloe vera has the aptitude to neutralize contagions that are responsible for balanitis, and may also assist in lessening the skin irritation and pain caused by this condition. If you are planning to use aloe vera to treat balanitis, it is advisable that your consult your physician beforehand. While use of aloe vera seldom results in side effects, sometimes use of aloe vera may lead to skin rashes.
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You may also include fresh cayenne pepper in soups, curries, marinades, Cajun dishes as well as stir-fry dishes. Cayenne encloses vitamin A, which may prove to be helpful in lessening the inflammation, while activating the function of the immune system. In addition, cayenne also encloses capsaicin, a chemical that has the aptitude to lessen the pain caused by balanitis. However, prior to using cayenne to treat balanitis, it is essential that you talk to your physician, since ingestion of cayenne may result in stomach upset.
Steep one tablespoon of dried up angelica root in one cup (250 ml) of steaming water for about 10 minutes and subsequently filter the liquid. Drink a maximum of three cups (750 ml) of this liquid (tea) daily. Traditionally, angelica root has been employed in the form of an anti-inflammatory herb. However, here is a word of caution: never use fresh angelica root instead of the dried roots for the fresh roots enclose chemicals that may possibly be poisonous for your body. Before using angelica root to treat balanitis, you must consult your physician.
You may also add freshly shredded ginger to curries and stir-fry dishes. The ginger root possesses antibacterial as well as anti-inflammatory attributes and these may help to alleviate the symptoms of balanitis. In addition, you may also macerate fresh ginger root in steaming water to prepare a tea and drink it several times every day to cure the condition. However, it is important to consult your physician before you start using ginger root to cure balanitis, for this herb sometimes results in heartburn.
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Wash your penis on regular basis with a solution of four drops of tea tree essential oil in a container of warm water.
It may be noted that balanitis is a health condition that can be totally cured. Prior to beginning treatment of this condition, it is important to know the exact reason for the occurrence of balanitis. In case phimosis (a health condition where it is difficult to draw back the foreskin totally), the reason behind the occurrence of balanitis, doctors generally recommend the elimination of the foreskin - generally this surgery is referred to as circumcision.
On the other hand, if fungal infection is responsible for the condition, the patient may apply any of the several anti-fungal lotions available in the market on the penis head twice every day. Prior to applying the lotion, the affected area needs to be cleaned properly using warm water and subsequently drying it using a clean piece of cloth.
To avoid the problem, you must always wear cotton underwear to prevent the growth of microbes in the genital area. Check to see any improvements in the condition by changing the regular detergent you use on a daily basis. All underwear must be rinsed or washed thoroughly after use-underwear must also be dry at all times.
It is best to avoid the use of scented soaps and talc powder as these may worsen the condition. At all times, strive to use hypoallergenic condoms and good quality spermicidals. If the cause of the balanitis is confirmed as a yeast infection by the doctor, then make sure that you get full and complete treatment for yeast growth.
Balanitis patients must ensure that their partners are also treated at the same time that they are receiving treatment for the condition. This is because the infection can be passed back and forth between two people and recurrence must be avoided in all cases by preventive treatment of the partner.
Following passing urine, it is important to dry out the damp surface on the penis head, prior to sliding the foreskin back into position. In addition, before engaging in sexual intercourse, it is advisable to use any lubricating condom rather than a latex condom to avoid latex allergy if the patient is known to be susceptible to latex allergy. The patient may also apply a slender layer of yogurt on the penis head. While applying the yogurt, the foreskin needs to be pulled back to enable the patient to apply the yogurt correctly.
There are several other things that you may do to get respite from the pain and inflammation caused by balanitis. You may add some amount of salt in your bath tub prior to immersing yourself into the tub for a relaxing bath. In addition, the gel of the aloe vera leaf is also useful for treating balanitis. If the condition has been caused by a fungal infection, you may apply garlic paste to the affected area or, alternately, consume fresh sliced garlic cloves.