Dermatology/glans redness


please expert, can you give an idea of what can cause my redness on the glans, I am circumcised, my foreskin will cover most of the glans and leave an exposed area(tip of the glans)

when I wash my penis, after some hours, I pull my foreskin and it looks all red, but the tip area of the glans looks fine and kind of normal,  in other words the glans area that gets covered with my foreskin becomes red after washing, but the tip area of my glans that my foreskin wont cover looks fine

could it be some fungal infection or balantitis, but what are the symptoms, since I feel none itching or pain, my urination is fine,

Balanitis is swelling (inflammation) of the foreskin and head of the penis.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Balanitis is usually caused by poor hygiene in uncircumcised men. Other possible causes include:

Diseases such as reactive arthritis and lichen sclerosis et atrophicus


Harsh soaps

Not rinsing soap off properly while bathing

Uncontrolled diabetes


Redness of foreskin or penis

Other rashes on the head of the penis

Foul-smelling discharge

Painful penis and foreskin

Signs and tests

Your health care provider may be able to diagnose your balanitis by examination alone. However, you may need skin tests for viruses, fungi, or bacteria. Sometimes, a skin biopsy is needed.


Treatment depends on the cause of the balanitis. For example, balanitis that is caused by bacteria may be treated with antibiotic pills or creams. Balanitis that occurs with skin diseases may respond to steroid creams. Anti-fungal creams will be prescribed if it is due to a fungus.

In severe cases, circumcision may be the best option. If you cannot pull back (retract) the foreskin to clean it, you may need to be circumcised.

Expectations (prognosis)

Most cases of balanitis can be controlled with medicated creams and good hygiene. Surgery is not usually needed.


Long-term inflammation or infection can:

Scar and narrow the opening of the penis (meatal stricture)

Make it difficult and painful to retract the foreskin to expose the tip of the penis (a condition called phimosis)

Make it difficult to move the foreskin over the head of the penis (a condition called paraphimosis)

Affect the blood supply to the tip of the penis

Calling your health care provider

Tell your health care provider if you have any signs of balanitis, including swelling of the glans or pain.  


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Michael S. Fisher, <B>Ph.D., M.D.</B>


published over 50 articles on the subject.

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