12 Causes & Triggers of Balanitis You Shouldn’t Ignore (List)

Balanitis is a skin condition characterized by the irritation and inflammation of the glans or the head of the penis. This condition is common among males who were not circumcised. Circumcision is a medical procedure performed to remove the foreskin of the penis to avoid the accumulation of bacteria. Unfortunately, the foreskin traps moisture and urine, making it the perfect place for bacteria and fungus to survive. As a result, uncircumcised men are more prone to fungal, yeast, and bacterial infections, which trigger balanitis.

Balanitis can occur at any age, but it is more common among older men. About 10% of men experience balanitis once in their lifetime. Poor hygiene is one of the leading causes of balanitis. People with diabetes, sexually transmitted diseases, and obesity are also more prone to having balanitis.

People with balanitis can experience extreme pain and irritation on their glans, itchy foreskin, swelling, red and white spots on the penis, and white discharge from the foreskin. They can also notice foul odor and strong-smelling urine. 

The treatment for balanitis differs in every case. Therefore, it is essential to identify the root cause of the condition to treat it properly. This article lists down the different instances that may lead to balanitis.

Fungal Infection

A yeast infection can trigger balanitis. Penile yeast infection is caused by a particular fungus called candida. Candida usually lives in different places of the body like the mouth, gut, throat, vagina, and penis without harming the person or causing any health problems. However, an overgrowth of this fungus can lead to painful and irritating infections. A moist environment is needed for candida to grow and multiply. Not bathing regularly, not cleaning the genitals, wearing wet clothing, using harsh soap and skin products, and wearing tight underwear for an extended period can promote the growth of candida which can lead to fungal infection.

Penile yeast infection can also be transmitted and acquired sexually. Having sexual intercourse with a person suffering from vaginal yeast infection without using protection is one of the leading causes of penile yeast infection. Using a lubricated and contaminated condom can also have the same effect.

If not treated, the yeast infection will result in balanitis. People with balanitis from a yeast infection may experience pain and discomfort during intercourse, cracked foreskin, swollen penis, burning sensation during urination, and difficulty pulling back the foreskin.