Erectile dysfunction is probably the most commonly discussed penile issue out there, but there are a number of issues that can affect biologically male genitalia that just aren’t as commonly discussed as they should be. Let’s take a look at one of the problems every penis-wielding human should know about: penile inflammation.
What is penile inflammation?
Penile inflammation involves inflammation at the head of the penis. On an uncircumcised penis, inflammation of the foreskin that prevents its retraction is called posthitis. On a circumcised penis, inflammation of the glans (the cone-shaped part of the end of the penis, for those who haven’t memorized their anatomy charts) is known as balanitis. Regardless of which type of penile inflammation you are suffering from, the symptoms will include:
- A rash
- White patches on the penis
- White discharge.
What are the causes?
Most often, the cause of penile inflammation is bacteria. This is otherwise known as a yeast infection, which is more commonly associated with women, but which can just as easily afflict biological males. In fact, yeast infections can actually be transmitted back and forth between sexual partners. Therefore, if your partner currently has a yeast infection, posthitis, or balanitis, you should both consult a physician. Both of you should get treated at the same time to prevent the infection from travelling back and forth between you.
Penile inflammation can also be a symptom of a more serious health condition, such as penile cancer. This typically resembles more of a blister on the foreskin, head, or shaft of the penis than a rash. It can develop into a wart-like growth that may even discharge watery pus. It’s very important that you go to your doctor if you are experiencing any penile inflammation. Early diagnosis and treatment will save you a lot of discomfort, and in the long run it could even save your life.
How do you treat penile inflammation? Your first step is to consult a doctor to make sure it’s a yeast infection or posthitis and not penile cancer. Once determined, you may be prescribed an antibiotic to help you fight the bacterial infection. Alternatively, you may be instructed to follow some hygiene procedures to help eliminate the buildup of bacteria. If the problem is severe enough, you may require surgery: a circumcision is the most common resulting surgery. In the other hand, a narrowing of the urethra can result from a persistent penile inflammation affliction, and this may require surgery to help remove any hardened skin and reopen the urethra.
The best preventative measures to help you avoid the discomfort and embarrassment of penile inflammation involve maintaining proper hygiene, especially after urinating, and practicing safe sex to eliminate any potential buildup or transmission of bacteria. Circumcision is also a common and effective preventative strategy. However, the most important thing to remember is that penile inflammation is fairly common. Provided you catch it early, there are usually simple treatments. The best health measure you can take is to consult your doctor as soon as you suspect there is an issue.