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What causes balanitis?

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If you don’t keep your penis clean, you raise your chances of getting balanitis. Use a mild soap because harsh chemicals can irritate the skin on your penis and trigger the condition.

It can also happen if your diabetes isn’t under control, or as a side effect of certain drugs prescribed to treat type 2 diabetes. For example, if you take dapagliflozin (Farxiga), you’re more likely to get balanitis, because the drug works by flushing sugar out of your body in the urine. Sugar creates a breeding place for yeast to grow.

Bacteria can also cause the infection. Make sure to keep your penis clean after you use to bathroom. It can also be caused by a type of arthritis known as reactive arthritis or Reiter’s syndrome, which can also affect the joints and the eyes.

Some medications can cause allergic reactions that can lead to balanitis, too, including tetracycline and aspirin-type medicines.

You’re also more likely to get the infection if you're overweight or have a condition that makes your body retain water, such as heart, liver, or kidney disease.

SOURCES:

American Urological Association: “Plasma Cell Balanitis (Zoon's Balanitis),” “Buried penis in adults - Presentation, Surgical Techniques and Outcome.”

Medscape: “Balanitis.”

Johnsson, K., , 2013. Journal of Diabetes and Its Complications

Lisboa, C. , 2009. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology

American Osteopathic College of Dermatology: “Balanitis.”

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on October 29, 2017

SOURCES:

American Urological Association: “Plasma Cell Balanitis (Zoon's Balanitis),” “Buried penis in adults - Presentation, Surgical Techniques and Outcome.”

Medscape: “Balanitis.”

Johnsson, K., , 2013. Journal of Diabetes and Its Complications

Lisboa, C. , 2009. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology

American Osteopathic College of Dermatology: “Balanitis.”

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on October 29, 2017

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