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An unpleasant, irritating but seldom serious inflammation of the head of the penis.
Balanitis is a common condition in uncircumcised men and is usually associated with poor hygiene. It is unusual in circumcised men.
Your best bet is to wash your penis thoroughly every day, especially if you are uncircumcised.
You should see your doctor, not least because severe balanitis can be a sign of diabetes, a serious illness that needs to be treated as soon as possible. You also need to be sure that the problem hasn't been caused by a sexually transmitted infection which produces similar symptoms.
Balanitis is usually mild. Once the cause has been identified, it can usually be cleared up easily.
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Date of last review 07/04/14
Date of next review 07/04/17
It’s tough for men to ask for help but if you don’t ask when you need it, things generally only get worse. So we’re asking.
In the UK, one man in five dies before the age of 65. If we had health policies and services that better reflected the needs of the whole population, it might not be like that. But it is. Policies and services and indeed men have been like this for a long time and they don’t change overnight just because we want them to.
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