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Balanitis in Teens: Care Instructions


Balanitis is irritation of the head of the penis. It's more common in males who have not been circumcised. The area under the foreskin that covers the head of the penis is often warm and moist. That makes it easier for bacteria or a fungus to grow. The penis can get sore, red, swollen, and itchy. You may also feel burning when you urinate or have pus come from your penis.

The chemicals in soap, condoms, or lubricants can also cause balanitis.

Your doctor may suggest a cream that usually clears it up within 2 weeks.

You can prevent balanitis by keeping your penis clean. And don't use products that cause irritation.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • Be safe with medicines. Take your medicine exactly as prescribed. If your doctor prescribed antibiotics, take them as directed. Do not stop taking them just because you feel better. You need to take the full course of antibiotics.
  • Keep your penis clean. If you are not circumcised, gently pull the foreskin back to wash your penis with warm water. Make sure your penis is dry before you get dressed.
  • Latex can irritate your penis. If you are sexually active and have irritation after using latex condoms, use another type of condom that isn't made of latex.
  • Wash your underwear with mild soap. Rinse it well.
  • If you work with harsh chemicals, wash your hands well before you use the toilet.

When should you call for help?

Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have signs of infection, such as:
    • Increased pain, swelling, warmth, or redness.
    • Red streaks leading from the area.
    • Pus draining from the area.
    • A fever.
  • You are uncircumcised and unable to replace the foreskin back over the head of the penis.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:

  • You do not get better as expected.

Where can you learn more?

Go to

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Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.