Balanitis xerotica obliterans is a condition that primarily affects the male genitalia, and is most commonly found in uncircumcised males. Diagnosing the condition normally consists of a physical examination and a discussion of the symptoms being experienced. In some cases a doctor may defer diagnosis to a urologist who specialises in conditions dealing with the urethra and the penis to get a correct diagnosis.
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Balanitis xerotica obliterans is a condition that affects the skin on the penis. The head of the penis is known as the glans. Balanitis xerotica obliterans is a condition that causes an irritation of the glans that results in swelling and a white lump near the tip of the glans that can cause severe discomfort. The hard lump will normally occur as a result of the accumulation of scarring tissue in the soft skin around the glans known as the mucosa. This is a condition that may take years to develop and can begin in early childhood.
The symptoms of balanitis xerotica obliterans commonly focus on the penis and the pelvic area. In addition to the white lump found at the tip of the glans near the opening of the urethra, there may be general swelling and pain that involves the entire penis. The pelvic area may begin to itch or become uncomfortable, and there may be a discharge of white pus from the penis. Men who are uncircumcised may not be able to move their foreskin.
Balanitis xerotica obliterans can also start to cause symptoms that reach beyond the pelvic area. These symptoms include pain and stiffness in the joints which includes an achy feeling in the jaw, a red rash on the body, and a general feeling of discomfort or illness that does not go away.
The first course of treatment a doctor may prescribe is to keep the penis clean by washing it twice a day with a salt water solution. There may be a steroid cream prescribed that is applied directly to the affected area. In extreme cases a doctor may decide that a circumcision may be needed to stop the spread of the condition. Women may also contract balanitis xerotica obliterans in their genital area that would result in a similar infection in the vulva. For women the treatment is normally a steroid cream applied directly to the affected area.
Balanitis xerotica obliterans is an infection that is commonly caused by inflammation due to lack of hygiene, or exposure to a viral infection in the genital area. While many cases are treated with cleaning and creams, it is possible for balanitis xerotica obliterans to turn cancerous. Report symptoms of balanitis xerotica obliterans to a doctor as soon as possible to prevent serious complications.
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