Inflammation of the glans


A Inflammation of the glans is called Balanitis designated.

Usually it occurs in combination with a Inflammation of the inside of the foreskin on and then will Balanoposthitis called.
Inflammation of the glans can be both isolated happening, for example after infection with a bacterial pathogen, as well as a Partial symptom occur in complex systemic diseases. The disease occurs in both adults and children, but then has slightly different causes.
Overall are uncircumcised men much more likely to be affected by inflammation of the glans than after clipping.

Causes of an inflamed glans penis

Cause one Balanitis can be pathogens that have settled under the foreskin.
But also one unspecific irritation the glans can cause inflammation. This is e.g. often in the phase immediately after a Phimoses OP the case.
Also one allergy on cosmetic products, clothing, latex or medication can manifest itself in the form of inflammation of the glans.

Even with many Skin disorders participation of the genital area is possible.
For example at psoriasis or that Pemphigugs vulgaris.
Too well-intentioned Genital hygiene can disrupt the sensitive skin barrier of the glans and thus trigger balanitis.

This also applies to any type of mechanical stimulation, in principle also the Sexual intercourse. Often, inflammation of the glans is also due to a lack of hygiene on the other side. If cleaning is insufficient, stay flaked epithelial cells hang under the foreskin and form the so-called Smegma, a wise, greasy covering. In this can now multiply bacteria and other pathogens and cause inflammation of the glans. Common triggers here include Yeasts, but also the classic sexually transmitted diseases, such as syphilis. But also Herpes viruses, HPV or Mites can cause inflammation of the glans. Also Genital warts can in turn lead to an inflammatory reaction due to irritation in the area of ​​the glans.

Last but not least, you can too Inflammation of the urethra spread to the glans through the resulting discharge. Men with an existing one are particularly at risk here Urinary incontinence. Due to the permanently moist urine-containing environment under the foreskin, the conditions for the relevant germs are particularly good.
A similar problem exists with Diabeticsbecause the increased sugar content in the urine promotes the growth of fungal infections in particular.


The inflammation of the glans usually manifests itself initially as a reddening of the glans itself. In addition, itching, oozing or burning when urinating can occur to varying degrees.

Read more on the subject at: Red spots on the glans - with itching.

In addition, wise, greasy deposits, the so-called smegma, often appear.
Especially in children with phimosis, but also in adults, a purulent discharge can set in. This is often smelly.

Pain during sexual intercourse or when pulling back the foreskin can be an indication of inflammation of the glans.
If the cause of the inflammation of the glans lies more in mechanical irritation or in excessive cleaning with drying soaps or shower gels, the glans may be cracked or even flaky. In the case of whitish, bluish discolouration and rather progressive scarring, a systemic skin disease, such as lichen sclerosus or pemphigus vulgaris can be excluded.

Read more about this under:

  • Glans itches
  • Acorn burns
  • Blue acorn


If the inflammation of the glans is caused by a bacterial infection, this can be treated well with antibiotic ointments.

In principle, the inflammation of the glans can be treated well. However, the treatment can take a while to be successful.

In the first place, of course, is one cause-oriented Therapy. In the case of non-infectious inflammation of the glans, switching off harmful influences comes first. In addition, a maintenance the skin areas and Sitz baths with chamomile extract or other disinfecting substances, contribute to healing. In the case of clearly non-infectious inflammation, a slight one can also occur Cortisone cream can be used to contain the inflammation itself.
Also dab the glans olive oil or other nourishing oils, can provide relief. This is especially true immediately after urination, as the urine is kept away from the already irritated skin.
In the treatment of an infectious inflammation of the glans one falls back on means that have to be tailored to the respective pathogen. The above-mentioned microbiological diagnostics are also important for this. A bacterial infection is associated with one antibiotic ointment, such as. Refobacin® mostly easy to handle. If infected with viruses or yeast, appropriate ointments are included antifungal or antiviral Ingredients on the market.

Especially with an infection, of course hygiene an important basis for treatment. So the glans should be cleaned thoroughly because it remains Smegma offers the ideal breeding ground for the germs. Here too you can Hip baths help if the glans cannot be cleaned otherwise well or only with great pain.

With more severe courses, but also with systemic infections, such as at Chlamydia or syphilis local ointment treatment is not sufficient. Here, after precise detection of the relevant pathogen, a antibiotic be taken orally or as an injection.

If an inflammation of the glans is very persistent, it should be attached to one, especially if the foreskin is already rather tight and difficult to move clipping be thought. Often after circumcision, the inflammation can be treated permanently due to the better hygienic conditions and the less humid environment.
During the period of inflammation should definitely be on Sexual intercourse be waived. This not only protects the glans, but also prevents the partner from being infected. With all sexually transmitted diseases, it should be remembered that the partner should also be treated, or at least have a check-up carried out by a doctor.

Diagnosis of glans inflammation

The inflammation of the glans can usually be seen with the naked eye.

The involvement of the foreskin is usually very evident Redness and swelling.
The diagnosis also includes, above all, clarification of the involvement of urethra or other regions. Whether the inflammation of the glans originated in one bacterial infection has, or whether it is a non-infectious inflammation, is then first determined on the basis of the anamnesis and the findings.In the further course, especially if the suspicion of a bacterial cause is confirmed, microbiological examinations are carried out.
This usually includes an examination of one Smear of the glans itself, as well as a urine test.
The microbiological diagnosis is then also very important in the further course of therapy planning. If no clear cause can be identified, a should always be given due to the increased risk for this group of people diabetes be excluded.


Best prophylaxis to prevent inflammation of the glans is one thorough but not excessive hygiene.
The penis should be washed daily with the foreskin pulled back. Best with lukewarm water and one mild soap. A cleaning solution that is too aggressive can even cause inflammation of the glans by drying out the skin and damaging the natural protective barrier. Protection is also important when Sexual intercourse. This applies to both the risk of infection from strangers and when it comes to protecting the partner.
In patients with Phimosis works a clipping Although preventive against inflammation of the glans, it should only be carried out when it is really necessary. So usually when there are problems with recurring inflammation of the glans, or the Phimosis does not regress by itself.


The prognosis for inflammation of the glans is this very good.
With suitable therapy and when personal Hygiene measures are observed, the inflammation can be treated very well. However, a little patience may be required. Only in the rarest cases kick the Balanitis again and again recurrent on.
But even then, if in doubt, with the help of a clipping to be helped. An inflammation of the glans should not be left untreated, because in this case it can lead to adhesions and in the course to a narrowing of the foreskin.


As mentioned above, inflammation of the glans occurs mainly in uncircumcised men. Of them, around 3% will suffer from one in their lifetime Balanitis.
The risk is also increased in old age Diabetics and existing Incontinence. Also strong Obesity, Crohn's disease and Ulcerative colitis are considered risk factors.
But sexual behavior, with its influence on the risk of infection with sexually transmitted diseases, also plays a role.

Inflammation of the glans after phimosis surgery

In principle, the Phimosis surgery, or removing the foreskin in general, tends to reduce the risk of inflammation of the glans.

However, the skin layer in the area of ​​the glans is very thin and since it is actually protected by the foreskin, it is not used to mechanical irritation. In this respect, it is easy to understand that the immediate to a circumcision, easily one Inflammation of the glans can train.

For one, the sensitive skin comes into direct contact with the skin for the first time underwearOn the other hand, the tissue is still irritated by the operation and there is an increased risk of infection from the wound.
To such an inflammation of the glans after one clipping To avoid this, it usually helps to minimize mechanical irritation. This includes, for example, wearing further underwear. It is also possible to penis after the operation by a Yogurt cups or similar, to be stored inside the underwear in such a way that it does not come into direct contact with the textiles. In addition, the cream with Bepanthen ointment, Oil or other Fat creams good for drying out too much and preventing further friction.
Sitz baths are recommended for anti-inflammatory and cleansing purposes Chamomile extract or disinfectant additives.

Inflammation of the glans in the child

The most common cause of inflammation of the glans in young children is an existing one Foreskin constriction (Phimosis).

Frequent pathogen is here candida albicans, so a yeast that also works for the Diaper thrush responsible for.
Due to the phimosis, the foreskin cannot be pushed back over the glans, or only with great difficulty. This allows it to multiply under the foreskin dead skin cells accumulate and ignite as the disease progresses.
This creates the smegma described above up to purulent discharge. The whole thing is aggravated by the fact that the children often play with the itchy foreskin even with their hands that are often not completely clean, thus making the problem even worse.
So there is one especially with children adequate hygiene important.

Whether the existing Phimosis surgery then depends on the individual case. In the case of frequently recurring inflammations of the glans, surgery should at least be considered. The frequent inflammations are not only uncomfortable, they also lead to further sticking of the foreskin. In many children it stretches Phimosis however, over time, it self-absorbs so that surgery can be avoided.

If a direct cleaning of the glans is not possible, or if this is not tolerated by the child, this can also be done here Hip baths be helpful. A damp diaper can also increase the irritation of the glans or prevent it from healing. In order to prevent the glans from rubbing against underwear, diapers, etc., e.g. Bepanthen ointment be applied.
Also nourishing oils or simple olive oil, can help cover the inflamed skin, preventing further irritation from contact with urine.
Fat cream is also available in combination with disinfectant components and thus has a double effect, e.g. also the one used in the buttocks area Mirfulan cream.