Balanoposthitis & Balanitis Pediatric Care Plan

By David Shafran, MD
Medically reviewed
January 21, 2021

What is Balanoposthitis?

Balanoposthitis and blanitis both refer to inflammation of the penis. Balanoposthitis is the inflammation of the foreskin, while balanitis refers to the inflammation of the glans – or head – of the penis.

Inflammation can occur as a result of:

  • Infection: this is usually bacterial or fungal. In adolescents, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) could also cause the inflammation.
  • Irritation: typically due to poor hygiene or even overuse of soaps and bubble baths.
  • Trauma: usually from forceful retraction of the foreskin, which causes irritation and small tears.

Balanoposthitis is most common in males that are either uncircumcised or have residual foreskin.

Common symptoms of these conditions include:

  • Pain
  • Redness and swelling
  • Itching 
  • Groin rash 
  • Painful urination 
  • Penile (not urethral) discharge

Balanoposthitis and Balanitis Diagnosis and Treatment

To figure out the cause of penile inflammation, your doctor will take a medical history and administer a physical exam. Treatment usually targets root cause(s) of the condition. It may include:

  • Proper hygiene: clean between the foreskin and glans with a Q-tip and rinse with clean water
  • Sitz baths: warm water mixed with salt solution, 2-3x/day
  • Avoid forceful foreskin retraction
  • Avoid irritants: no bubble baths, no soaps to clean foreskin
  • Topical antibiotic or anti-fungal medications

Referral to specialist might be needed if:

  • Scarring occurs, preventing foreskin retraction
  • Difficulty voiding occurs
  • Inflammation or infection recurs repeatedly

Check in with K If…

  • You have general questions about your child’s condition
  • You want general followup for your child
  • You have questions about supportive care
  • Your child’s symptoms don’t go away after treatment but are not alarming

See a Doctor in Person If…

  • Your child’s symptoms do not improve or worsen after 5 to 7 days of treatment
  • Worsening swelling and/or pain 
  • Your child is unable to void
K Health articles are all written and reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, or PharmDs and are for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute and should not be relied on for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.

David Shafran, MD

Dr. Shafran is a board-certified pediatrics physician. He joins K Health from the Cleveland Clinic, where he led a pediatrics practice and completed a fellowship in transplant ethics. He has completed multiple fellowships, including one in pediatric nephrology at Rainbow, Babies & Children's University Hospitals. He received his medical degree from the Sackler School of Medicine in Tel Aviv and completed his medical residency at the Jacobi Medical Center.