Men who have a red penis accompanied by soreness, itching, burning - and in some cases, a cheesy discharge - may have a common disorder known as balanitis. While this condition is not dangerous, it can cause considerable discomfort, as well as interfering with the enjoyment of sex. Caring for the penile through adequate hygiene and treating the area with nourishing penis vitamins and minerals is recommended for maintaining a clean and healthy penis. Furthermore, men should understand what causes balanitis in order to avoid uncomfortable penile problems.

What is balanitis?

Balanitis refers to an infection of the head, or glans of the penis (the term "balanitis" is Greek for "inflammation of the acorn"). Men with this condition may experience swelling, a red penis, soreness, itching and burning. In some instances, a red, bumpy rash may appear, and some infections present with a cheesy, lumpy discharge. If the urethra, or opening of the penis, is affected, painful urination may also occur.

What causes balanitis?

Balanitis can be caused by a number of issues.

• Yeast infection, or thrush, may result in the symptoms of balanitis. This organism grows naturally on the skin. It is generally harmless, but when imbalances in body chemistry occur, overgrowth may take place, causing the symptoms described above. Because the condition may be transferred between physical partners, it is best to avoid intercourse until the infection clears up. Antifungal creams or tablets are generally prescribed in treating thrush.

• Poor hygiene is one of the most common causes of balanitis. In uncircumcised men, in particular, lack of regular washing can result in a buildup of a cheesy substance known as smegma under the foreskin, which may become infected and cause irritation. Washing the area with a mild cleanser or with salt water may help to clear up the infection in this case.

• Irritation from soaps, perfumes and detergents can cause the symptoms of balanitis. The spermicides found in condoms and other types of birth control may also result in irritation and swelling. For men with sensitive skin, avoiding synthetic fragrances and harsh soaps is recommended. In addition, supporting good skin health through the use of antibacterials such as vitamin A and keeping the area well-moisturized can help to prevent sore penis symptoms.

Who is at risk for balanitis?

Men who are uncut are most likely to develop this condition, although all men may experience problems with penile infection, regardless of their age. Diabetes and other immune disorders may also increase the chances of penis inflammation.

Is medical treatment necessary for penile infections?

Not all types of balanitis require medication. Bathing the area and keeping the skin hydrated, as well as supporting the skin’s natural chemical balance, may help to eliminate the symptoms of penile infections. However, fungal overgrowth such as thrush generally requires medication. In addition, it is important to remember that more serious conditions, including partner transmitted diseases, may share similar symptoms. Ongoing problems with a sore, red penis that do not clear up within a few days should be diagnosed by a medical professional.

Keeping the penis healthy and avoiding embarrassing and uncomfortable skin conditions

While most men can expect to experience minor penis problems from time to time, and these cannot always be avoided, keeping the private area as clean and well-nourished as possible can help in avoiding uncomfortable and unattractive skin conditions, including some forms of balanitis. Applying a high-quality penis health formula(most health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil) containing vitamins and minerals, antioxidants and all-natural moisturizing agents, may promote healthy, supple and youthful penis skin and maintain the body’s natural pH levels, discouraging problems like yeast overgrowth and irritation.