Balanitis is a skin condition that affects men almost exclusively, wherein the tip of the penis or the foreskin over the head of the penis becomes infected or inflamed. Balanitis happens to about one in 20 males and occurs most often in uncircumsized men and boys under the age of 5. Though the condition rarely affects women, in such cases, balanitis refers to an infection of the clitoris. There are many symptoms of balanitis.
Phimosis is the inability of an uncircumcized male, usually a prepubescent boy, to pull the foreskin back from the glans, or tip, of his penis. Most adolescent boys should be able to do this by the time they reach ten years. Otherwise, phimosis is a common diagnosis and might be a sign of balanitis. Phimosis will usually resolve naturally, but if it doesn't, a doctor will pierce several small holes or make a small cut in the foreskin so that it can be worked loose and pulled back. In difficult cases, circumcision may be necessary.
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