Balanitis in children: everything you need to know

Balanitis in boys is inflammation of the foreskin and sometimes the head of the penis.. It is a very frequent problem in newborns which generally resolves itself in two or three days at the most. Only in some cases can the situation be complicated and require surgery.

This problem can become very uncomfortable, although it is rarely serious. It strikes 1 in 20 males; most of them uncircumcised. The disturbance is resolved, in most cases, with the application of hygiene measures and commonly used drugs.

What causes balanitis in babies?

Before talking about the causes of balanitis in children, it is worth knowing that they exist two modes of this pathology. The first is chemical, which is the most common and represents a mild form of the disease. The second is called true infected balanitis and occurs in about 5% of children under 5 years of age.

Balanitis in babies is caused by a skin condition or infection chronicle. This can be caused by poor hygiene habits, resulting in an overgrowth of bacteria or yeast. Using scented soaps or lotions, bars of soap that cause dryness or not washing the penis well favor the onset of the disease.

Some medications can also cause balanitis as a side effect. These include some laxatives, pain relievers, antibiotics and sleeping pills. Likewise, there are diseases such as diabetes, reactive arthritis or sexually transmitted infections that promote inflammation.

Balanitis with pain in newborns.
Painful urination can be an early sign of balanitis in babies.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms of balanitis in children are very annoying and easy to recognize. The main manifestation is the reddened and inflamed foreskin, which is accompanied by itching and sometimes difficulty urinating. The normal thing is that the little ones start complaining of discomfort in the penis.

The foreskin feels tight and is not retractable. Likewise, there is pain and whitish spots may appear in the area. It is also common to see a buildup of thick fluid oozing out of the glans that emits an unpleasant odor.

Balanitis in children almost always diagnosed by clinical examination and symptoms. Sometimes it is necessary to order some tests, such as a urine sample or a secretion culture for laboratory analysis.

Home treatment for balanitis in children

To cure the infection at home It is very important to do proper baby penis hygiene every day. The person in charge must wash their hands well before and after coming into contact with the child, as well as teach them to do so too.

In infants and younger children, the foreskin should be removed from the glans gently and without forcing. Then rinse the area with clean water and wipe with a cotton ball. It is not convenient to use talcum powder. If your child is older, teach him how to clean the area.

Another recommended trick is to fill the bathtub with warm water and add a teaspoon of salt.. Next, the guy has to immerse himself in it, so that the penis is well covered. This helps relieve symptoms and should be done two to three times a day.

It is very common for the doctor to prescribe antibiotics and topical creams. The latter must be applied observing the hygiene measures already described. Likewise, the treatment must be carried out as directed by the professional; It shouldn’t be stopped sooner, even if the little one shows improvements.

When to see a doctor

The doctor should be consulted whenever there are symptoms of balanitis in children. Your doctor will determine the cause of the problem and take appropriate steps to treat it. If the situation is not addressed properly, various complications can appear.

Consulting with your doctor is of the utmost importance, especially when the symptoms last more than three days or the problem returns after it has been overcome. Likewise, if your child has a fever or has difficulty urinating, as it is possible that the infection has spread to the Urinary tract.

If the foreskin does not return to its initial position and remains retracted when you move it, you should also consult a doctoras could be a condition called phimosis. In general, this complication is the result of a chronic balanitis that it generates adhesions in the soft tissues of the penis.

Surgical indication of phimosis.
The adhesions and phimosis may require corrective surgery if they are not resolved with conservative methods.

when is the intervention necessary?

If not treated properly, balanitis can damage the foreskin and lead to scarring causing permanent urinary problems. The phimosis we have already described is also possible, which will prevent retraction in the normal way.

These situations generally require surgery to correct the abnormalities. THE circumcision it is an alternative to consider when balanitis becomes recurring.

Preventing balanitis in children from home

Balanitis can be prevented with proper daily hygiene. The indicated thing is that the child takes a shower every day and after he has exercised or done some activity that makes him sweat.

It is not convenient to use scented products on the penis. Likewise, the area must be dried very well after bathing. If your child has had balanitis before, do not repeat the treatment without medical advice.

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