Top of the page
Balanitis is inflammation of the head of the penis. It can make the penis painful, red, swollen, and itchy. Balanitis is usually more common if the penis has not been circumcised. But until a child is toilet-trained, balanitis is more common in circumcised babies. This is because wearing diapers allows direct contact between the head of the penis and stool (feces). Stool contains germs that can cause balanitis.
Balanitis can also be caused by chemicals in soaps. It can also happen from a zipper injury or by forcing back the foreskin in an uncircumcised child. Having a diaper rash or taking antibiotics can also increase your child's risk.
Your child's doctor may suggest a cream to put on the skin that usually clears up the problem within 2 weeks. You can prevent this problem by keeping your child's penis clean. You also can help prevent it by not using products that cause irritation.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if your child has any problems.
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter K319 in the search box to learn more about "Balanitis in Children: Care Instructions".
Current as of: March 1, 2023
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Susan C. Kim MD - Pediatrics & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & JoLynn Montgomery PA - Family Medicine & Kara C. Taggart MD - Urology
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.
©2006-2023 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.