Balanitis in Men

A penile yeast infection is not a common condition for men to deal with, but it certainly can happen. Normally, a yeast infection comes from sexual intercourse with an infected partner, an overuse of antibiotics, the spermicide nonoxynol-9 and poor diet. If a penile yeast infection continues to go untreated, it will continue to thrive and eventually cause other illness. A yeast infection can also pass on to another partner, or back and forth until both cases are treated properly.

A penile yeast infection affects the skin on the outside of the penis, and uncircumcised men are much more prone to getting a penile yeast infection than circumcised men. This is because circumcised penises are always exposed to air and are kept dry and at a regular temperature. Yeast will thrive in a moist, warm area.

Penile yeast infection symptoms

Often times, a male may go a long time without even knowing there is anything wrong. Symptoms of a penile yeast infection normally do not begin to show for a few days, even a few weeks. Once symptoms are present, it can be extremely painful.

Symptoms of a penile yeast infection include:

  • Constant itching
  • Dry, cracking skin
  • Painful when touched
  • Small, red or white blisters - often mistaken with the herpes virus
  • Discomfort when urinating

It is also important to note that if a penile yeast infection is passed along to a sexual partner, she will likely show signs before a male will. It is important to get tested even if symptoms are not present yet.

Penile yeast infection treatment

Since penile yeast infection symptoms closely resemble a sexually transmitted infection, doctors will usually test for both an STI as well as a penile yeast infection. This will rule out the possibility of an STI as well as provide accurate results for proper treatment procedures. The good news about a penile yeast infection is that it is not a permanent problem.

Often times, a penile yeast infection treatment is the same for men as it is for women. Brands like Monistat and Canesten are prescribed for quick and easy treatment. Depending on the severity of the infection, a doctor could prescribe either a topical treatment or an oral tablet to be taken. The creams are usually applied a few times a day for a couple week’s time. Sometimes an oral tablet is only required to take once to cure a yeast infection.

There are also a number of home treatments available for the treatment of penile yeast infections. Some home remedies include:

  • Diluted cinnamon oil
  • Diluted oil of oregano
  • Probiotics
  • Garlic oil
  • Tea tree oil or powder

It is recommended that home remedies should be continued for up to a month to ensure the penis is completely clean and cured of the yeast infection. Home remedies along with prescribed treatments will treat a penile yeast infection effectively.

Symptoms of Balanitis

Balanitis is caused by a few different things. It may be caused by skin conditions such as psoriasis or eczema, or sensitivity to scents or soaps. It may also be caused by certain infections such as a yeast infection, Chlamydia or syphillis. Balanitis is said to be very similar to thrush or an STI. Some symptoms of Balanitis include:

  • Inflammation of the glans
  • Itchiness
  • Pain when urinating
  • Unpleasant odor
  • Thick discharge under the foreskin
  • Soreness or irritation during or after sexual intercourse. This may continue for up to 5 days after intercourse as well
  • Phimosis
  • A physician may perform a swab test, urine test or blood test to diagnose Balanitis.

Treatment for Balanitis

Treatment for Balanitis depends on what may have contributed to the infection in the first place. After your physician has performed a few different tests to determine the source of Balanitis, he will prescribe the correct form of treatment based on the diagnosis.

Scent or soap allergy: A mild steroid cream may be prescribed. Your doctor will also suggest to remove the irritant completely from your daily activities.

Yeast infection: Antifungal creams or ointments may be prescribed. There are also many home remedies available to help treat a yeast infection.

Bacterial infection: Antibiotics such as penicillin may be prescribed, but it is important to note that antibiotics should be used in moderation, as they may cause a yeast infection.

If Balanitis is a recurring problem, a doctor may suggest circumcision as a permanent form of treatment. Balanitis may be prevented if the glans is kept clean and dry. Any use of a possible irritant should also be discontinued. Sexual intercourse may be painful during this time, and infection may be passed along to your partner, therefore it is suggested to refrain from sexual intercourse until the infection has been cleared and fully treated.