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The Inflamed Penis and Diabetes – Risk of Balanitis

Finding that one has an inflamed penis is an annoyance that most men would rather avoid; but unfortunately, when a man also happens to have diabetes, this condition, known as balanitis, can be a frequent occurrence. It may seem odd, but diabetes management can in some instances have an impact on penis care, despite the fact that the two might seem unrelated.

What is balanitis?

According to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology (AOCD), balanitis is an “inflammation of the glans penis or prepuce that forms over three to seven days.” Also called balanoposthitis, this condition can vary in severity and in symptoms. Often, it may present as no more than a reddening of the organ, usually on the glans or the foreskin. At other times, a more extensive rash or flakiness may be present, often accompanied by an itchiness. There may be a discharge which is rank and offensive in odor. In severe cases, the penis and/or foreskin may experience a significant degree of pain and soreness.

Although balanitis is associated most often with younger boys, any man of any age can contract balanitis; men (and boys) who are intact are somewhat more susceptible.

Causes of balanitis.

Men with diabetes tend to be more likely to develop balanitis; the AOCD states that in adults, diabetes is the most common underlying medical condition associated with balanitis. Why should this be?

In order to understand this, it helps to know more about why men get balanitis in the first place. Generally, the development of balanitis is triggered by improper hygiene. When the penis and/or foreskin is not properly cleaned, bacteria or yeast infections may occur, causing inflammation. Sometimes, the chemicals in a strong or harsh cleanser or detergent may also bring the condition about, especially if the soap is not washed off the glans or out from underneath the foreskin. Certain diseases and medical conditions can also bring it about; in addition to diabetes, reactive arthritis, eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis are other issues associated with an inflamed penis.

Why diabetes?

Diabetes by itself does not increase the risk of balanitis; it is when the disorder is not properly managed and maintained that problems arise. This is largely because sugar in the urine may get trapped underneath the foreskin or may dribble onto and dry on the glans; bacteria breeds easily in the sugary urine, so if it is not wiped away, balanitis may result.

Controlling blood sugar is always important for anyone with diabetes; for diabetic men, it can also pay off in helping to avoid this inconvenient penis health issue. A penis afflicted with balanitis may look to be in far worse health than it actually is; thus, an affected penis can be off-putting to partners.

Treating balanitis.

Diabetic men should make sure that they are adhering to their doctors’ recommendations for maintaining an appropriate glucose level. Checking the level regularly is very important, as is following the doctor’s prescribed dietary recommendations. Proper use of medical treatments is also crucial.

All men can help avoid an inflamed penis by practicing good penis hygiene daily. In addition to washing the penis (and underneath the foreskin for intact men) with a gentle soap and rinsing the soap completely away, it’s beneficial to regularly make use of a top drawer penis health formula (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil). To keep the penis in optimum health, it’s vital a man select a formula that includes ingredients, such as the emollient shea butter and the hydrator vitamin E, that are known to alleviate the common skin issues that often accompany balanitis. In addition, the best formulas will also include vitamin C, which can enhance collagen production and penile tissue firmness.

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