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t may simply be a hygiene problem. If you do not wash under the foreskin, a cheesy material, called smegma
, accumulates. This can become infected and cause irritation. The solution is to wash carefully with warm water to which you have added enough kitchen salt to make it taste like seawater.
A milder form of balanitis
can appear soon after intercourse, but disappears within about a day. This is probably caused by allergy
in your partner’s vagina. If she is treated the problem will usually go.
Balanitis can sometimes be caused by a skin disease, such as psoriasis
. Psoriasis can occur on the penis without you having it anywhere else. On the glans, it looks red and shiny (unlike on other parts of the body where it is silvery and scaly). In this situation antifungal treatment will not have any effect, but your doctor can prescribe a steroid
Check your soaps and shower gels. Balanitis can sometimes be a sensitivity to perfumes in soaps and detergents. Never put disinfectant in the bath, as this can be very irritating.
If your penis is swollen, intensely itchy and very red, you probably have thrush (also known as Candida, a yeast). Occasionally this can be the first sign of diabetes
, so check with your doctor. It is cured with antifungal cream or tablets.