Zoons Balanitis - does circumcision help? - Men's Health Forum

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Zoons Balanitis - does circumcision help?

Zwww4650 profile image

I believe i have Zoons Balanitis- i have all the symptons including the shiny patches over glan area (head of penis).

I have seen many doctors and 2 dermatologist who said it was Candida.

I am very clean and wash the area with quality moisturizer cream and dry it. I have used every oil potion and lotion imaginable with no positive result.

Anti fungles and steroid creams help but symptoms comes back in a week or so.

I have been dealing with this for over 7 years and to be honest I am very depressed. I have lost interest in sex or when i have had sex its been too painful. I feel that because of this I will never be able to enter another relationship as potential partners will suspect i have a disease.

My symptoms are ongoing pain across the head of the penis, burning and aching sensations, reddish patches as if the skin had peeled back.

I am in great health, no diabetes or STDs. I am late 30s and uncircumcised.

My question is are there any guys who have been diagnosed with ZB - then had a circumcision. If so what was your results?

Any other advice would be appreciated before i get the snip?

14 Replies

If you are suffering from balanitis and it is debilitating for you then I would not hesitate to have a circumcision as this should resolve the condition. I was diagnosed with phimosis by my GP but when I saw the urologist she said I had balanitis as well. This surprised me because I had no real symptoms, perhaps the odd patch of red or white on the glans and occasional slight itchiness, but nothing significant. I did find that using water only to clean the glans, no soaps, gels, potions stopped the tendency to itchiness. After a circumcision your glans will go through a process of keratinisation where it develops a thicker layer of skin that makes it less of a breeding ground for balanitis. Of course it's too eary for me to say personally that it won't stop balanitis in the future, but the textbooks indicate that you should have a positive outcome, though nothing is 100% guaranteed.

Have you seen this post: healthunlocked.com/mensheal...

Evidence that circumcision doesn't work for everyone with balanitis. One of the comments mentions a product that may be helpful, worth trying before considering circumcision perhaps?

Final thought. About 10 years ago I had really bad dermatitis on my hands to the extent the skin punctured and bled really easily, especially after years of using steroid creams which thins and break downs the skin. I spent two years with permanently sore, raw and bleeding hands wrapped in bits of micropore tape which made me look like an extra from a 'Mummy' film. After seeing a specialist dermatologist the cure for it was to use a non steroid base cream called Tacrolimus which didn't break the skin down and allowed the epidermis of the skin to repair itself. I've read that Tacrolimus can be used to treat balanitis successfully, so this may be worth asking about. For me it was a life-saver.

Link to the article about use of Tacrolimus to treat Zoons balanitis. It's an isolated attempt in the last couple of years, so I imagine it may not yet be considered a mainstream treatment by urologists and GPs, so you may have to push to try this option. Probably also need to have a firm diagnosis of balanitis. Article: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articl...

I was diagnosed with ZB about 18 moths ago, there was also a possibility of Penile Cancer so I ended up with a Circumcision in just over a week from diagnosis ! Knowing what I Know now, in that there was no cancer, I would have tried alternatives before having the Op.

Good luck

I've had zoons for a few years now so I think I know a few things about it.I'm in the uk and the first treatment offered is circumcision as it's the only treatment likely to work in the long term.Ointments work when you use them but when you stop the zoons comes back

The treatment I'm trying now is to keep my foreskin back all day,It seems to help as there is no fluid leaking from the skin of the glans anymore.If I keep it back for 2-3 months it should cure the zoons in the same way circumcision would.If you're interested in trying this go to pulledback.org for more info and get an aerosol of local anaesthetic to help wit the sensitivity in the first few days.

Just one last thought,Have you had a biopsy to diagnose the condition?

Zwww4650 profile image
Zwww4650 in reply to 1zoon

Hi there and thanks for your msg. I have not had a biopsy. I have found its really challenging to get drs and dermo's to consider anything outside of the square. Mostly the tell me to buy over the counter creams. I did have a cultured swab which didnt show anything.

I have looked at pulledback.org and thought id try this. I have now been pulled back from two days and the positive change has been astounding. Blotches and redness is gone, no swelling or reddness. My head has dried out and it looks completely clear. Only problem is my sensitivity levels are very high and i am not sure i will be abled to remain pulled back at work. Sleeping is very difficult. How long have you been pulled back and have you noticed change?

1zoon profile image
1zoon in reply to Zwww4650

The best way to cope with the sensitivity is to use a numbing cream or spray.This will give you a few hours of no sensitivity and will wear off slowly,it's sold on ebay/amazon as delay cream/spray and is quite cheap.

I've been pulled back when at home for over a month and it has stopped the skin from weeping fluid and a lot of the redness has gone so it's working better than the ointments the doctor gave me

Yes, until I read 1zoon's suggestion I was about to recommend the same thing ... retraction ... with the additional suggestion that you refrain from washing your penis and foreskin in soapy water. Soaps tend to kill the healthy strains of bacteria that protect the skin and mucosal surfaces of the penis ... which opensthe region to invasion by unhealthy bacterial strains.

Also ... if your many doctors and 2 dermatologists say the problem is Candida ... you have to alter your diet to remove the sugars that feed yeast infections.

Women struggle with these infections all the time ... Go to any pharmacist and you'll find shelves full of products designed to deal with the problem. Notice, however, that NONE of these women are ever advised to amputate genital tissue.

Zwww4650 profile image
Zwww4650 in reply to Rood_A

Hi cheers your reply. I have not washed my penis or foreskin with soap for over 5 years now. I generally run water over it or use a soap free wash or moisturizer. I have done the whole cut out sugar and change of diet. Alkaline diet, no preservatives etc, but it didnt make a whole lot of difference. It has potentially helped a little or perhaps i have become better at managing this.

The retraction seems to be working although i woke up with quite a swollen foreskin this AM, probably caused by night erections and the skin half folding forward.

I have used a number of over the counter creams even those for women but they have only given short term relief...

Zoons is not caused by fungal infection(yeast) or by bacteria.It is most likely caused by an underlying skin condition such as lichen planus or psoriasis.Biopsy might identify this but you are unlikely to be able to treat it with any medication

Rood_A profile image
Rood_A in reply to 1zoon

Yes, 1zoon, I agree, but so far Zwww6450's many doctors have apparently only diagnosed Candida.... Perhaps it's time to see another specialist, someone who knows what he's talking about.

I believe I have Zoon's balanitis (my doctor made no comment, except to say that I should only wash the glans region with water and to try a steroid). I suspect it's onset was at least in part caused by the the development of soft-glans erectile dysfunction, which has meant that the typical nocturnal erections no longer cause the foreskin to retract to allow aeration, thereby keeping the foreskin in perpetual contact with the glans. Forcibly keeping the foreskin retracted has lead to an improvement, as reported by others here.

I too was diagnosed with 'zoons', initially the thought was Penile Cancer but the advised treatment for both was circumcision.

I went for the Circ' as I was just panicking that it could be cancer. Personally I would have preferred to keep my foreskin and wished there had been a real alternative. The itchy feeling and soft tissue have gone and the blotchiness has now become a dull discolouration.

Sex is still good but I feel there is now less sensation and I struggle to regain my erection if I lose it during sex or foreplay.

Saying that, the possible alternative does not bear thinking about !

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