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Long Term Balanitis

A few months ago, I was put onto an antibiotic(doxycycline) for my acne by my dermatologist. While on it I noticed changes in my penis such as tender/sore foreskin, redness and raised bumps all over the glans and splotches of very red areas on the top of my penis shaft(still covered by my foreskin) that also had some of the bumps. When I would defecate, I would ejaculate(no orgasm) and during sex I lasted no time at all. I had a small spot forming the outside of my penis, redness and very sore foreskin. I went to the ER(this was October 2018) and they told me it was candida balantis and gave me Nystatin cream. This ER doctor told me it was because I wasn't keeping the area clean well enough(a load of BS, I always make sure im clean) and sent me on my way. It seemed to work, but I was still on the doxy. They told me there was no connection, so i stayed on it cause I trusted their judgement. I was on this cream for awhile and it seemed to be working. It cleared away my outside shaft issues. That was the oddest part about it all was how it would appear and then be gone. I was fine for awhile and then it would come back full force between all of these incidents.

Eventually though, my symptoms underneath my foreskin came back, slowly at first, the sore/tenderness, redness/bumps, so I made an appointment with my dermatologist. My main concern was the redness and the raised bumps. Derma took samples of the bumps and tested them for Herpes Simplex(I have it on my face when i get to much sun or friction ever since I was a kid). It was negative. He recommended using hydrocortisone cream when the redness and bumps are present. I had read that over time the hydro cream can damage skin and stop it from healing, so I don't use it nearly as much as he asks for me too. He also put me on vanicream bar soap(which has helped) for my sensitive skin in case the issues underneath my foreskin are being brought out again due to chemicals.

After this it got really bad with my glans peeling, my foreskin swollen and allot of pain. I had to go to the ER again(February 2019) where they told me it was Balanitis again but this time, from long term antibiotic use. I stopped the antibiotics and used clotrimazole cream. This stopped my ejaculate issues and extreme sensitivity during sex. I was on the cream for over two weeks and it didn't get rid of everything so after talking to my derma again, I used the one time pill, Diflucan which is made to kill the candida yeast. This seemed to clear it all up after the 7 day period it stays in your system. I had started having pains though in my groin around the same time as my Feb. balanitis diagnosis. I ignored it as it came and went fairly quick, but eventually it became to much to deal with and I saw my GP(March 2019). Along with the pain, I had fairly unpleasant smelling yellow pee, not burning but overly hot flow when I would urinate but no trouble getting it out. I also had pain in my penile shaft. They took blood and urine samples checking for STD's, infections etc. They originally thought it was a urinary tract infection, prostate infection or something along those lines. However, I my urine tests came back as negative for any bacteria that would cause this. No STD's. They told me it was a "presumed GU infection" and prescribed me bactrim. I took it even though I was pretty sure it would cause me issues again cause they said it was best to. It worked getting rid of the groin pain/symptoms I was having but it brought back the beginnings of the balanitis. I talked to my derma again and I took another round of diflucan. I am currently on day 4 of that.

Its been a really long road with all of this and I could use some feedback on what I can do to help this heal up and not come back. I feel like my doctors really dont listen to me when it comes to medications. I am very chemically sensitive. Antibiotics are a nightmare for me now. I had brought up when I first started having issues that I thought it was the doxy and was told emphatically that it was not. Currently I still have some tenderness, my pee's warm again with some of that smell(i never noticed it before all this you know, so maybe in sensitive to it now or something) and some penile discomfort/tenderness/sore. Sex or masturbation cause the redness/bumps to flare up but they do tend to go down after awhile. I feel as though this has caused my penis to be discolored in a way from all the redness I have had and continue to have. It should be more of a flesh tone, but still remains reddish and it shouldn't be that way for me. Even my pee slit has like a red line coming down. Like its agitated.

I am waiting till the end of this round of diflucan and giving it another week after to see how i am doing. Currently, the red bumps are at bay but I still see them make an appearance sometimes. I'm not sure if all guys have these and the balanitis brings them our or how it works(none of my doctors I saw could tell me) but they sure are ugly as hell. My foreskin hides my issues from sight, but knowing they are still there and I have kept on having issues has given me allot of stress and anxiety. Any guys that have been through, or are going throughthis or something similar, I would like to hear from you.


22 Replies

Wow! That is quite an ordeal. I guess my question is do you have the option of finding a different care team? It doesn't sound like you are getting any kind of results from the group you are seeing currently.


I do have the option to do that, I'm just not sure if I should switch everyone or just find a specialist.


I understand the dilemma. It definitely sounds like you've been suffering for a while. I think if this were me, I'd look at each person and try to figure out if I was satisfied with the care I'd received from them - if not, I would look for a different provider.

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Hey there, I totally understand the feeling man, I have been having the same symptoms and problems as your self so don’t feel you are alone at all, I’m 31 and have been dealing with most of the symptoms you have mentioned since I was 17/18 years old, every time I tried for a new doctor they would send me to the gum clinic to which my results were always negative but they would start me on doxycycline until it became less effective. within 1/2 months the problems would come back worse and I was sick to death of the same diagnosis over and over. Eventually I requested a specialist and he was brilliant even looking back now I think it didn’t happen sooner as I was more and more embarrassed as time went on. However after tests and Cameras put literally everywhere and scans I eventually got a diagnosis “chronic none bacterial prostititus” and this was only a year ago ,after years it was a relief to get a real diagnosis unfortunately it’s not really treatable ‘but’ can be managed with diet and other things. Now when I feel it coming on as you will no from your own experience i take medication (ciproflaxin) and a heavy duty anti inflammatory for around 10days and that keeps it at bay for a few more months, it’s not a cure by a long shot but 95% better than I was before .in and out the GP’s and A&E every few weeks. hopefully this might help you out with your issue but would really recommend a urologist (specialist) 👍🏻


I've got chronic non bacterial prostatitis I think - at least judging by what my last consultant appointment came up with. I have had terrible side effects from antibiotics in the past - including doxycycline - and won't take them anymore; also I have read that anti-inflammatories can spark off ulcerative colitis. I'm scared of prescription medications

The consultant urologist recommended the herbal product Quercetin - which I'd already started. I should say that my symptoms are slightly - compared to previous -burning/irritation scrotum, hot/slightly burning urination and mildly burning ,difficult, bit painful, defecation - going on constipation. Had issues before but this latest bout started May 2018

My programme now - more or less just started is ….

1) Quercetin and saw palmetto - twice a day

2) Diet - no alcohol. spicy food, caffeine, dairy, gluten, red meat - nightmare

3) acupuncture

4) gentle exercise - walking

I have better days, but this sh-t is basically always with me

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The hot/slightly burning urination is something I have experienced with this! Doxycycline is what started all of this for me, I don't care what the doctors I have seen say. They tell me its been so long now and im not on them anymore, it shouldn't bother me anymore. Yeah, right.

I'm sorry you're always dealing with this. Its a pain in the ass and I wouldn't wish it on anyone.


Their horrible antibiotics have long term effects because they wipe out the good intestinal bacteria and leave us wide open to parasitic yeast infections which are very difficult to shake off.

Of course they go into denial mode because they don't want to admit what they've done


A picture would be very useful....


Please ask your doctor to exclude BXO ( scaring , other name Lichen Sclerosis) Please see further info ;


Treatment started with steroid cream first.


I will be sure to bring it up at my next visit.


Wow! What a miserable expererience you have had with your balanoposthitis.

It seems likely that the doxycycline killed off the good bacteria on your penis and allowed candida to flourish. It seems to me that it would be better to stop the doxycyline and tolerate the acne that you may have.

The foreskin is immunlogically protective. The under skin moisture has protective substances.


I imagine that you have been told to wash your penis frequently, however, it is important to avoid excessive washing because this washes away the protective substances and the skin oils and does cause non-specific dermatitis.


Balanoposthitis may be caused by environmental irritants, by bacteria, by a virus, or by fungus/yeast. Before successful treatment may start, an accurate diagnosis of the cause must be made, because each cause requires different treatment.


I think your recovery might include stop using soap and wash your penis as little as possible to allow the natural immunological processes to work. Keep your foreskin forward where it covers and protects the head as much as possible.

Before starting any more medical treatment, ask your medical attendant to take swabs and cultures to see what organisms are present. Only then can effective treatment be prescribed.

It is also possible that your sexual partner is infected with some organism that is infecting you.

It is likely that you may be prescribed circumcision someday. Please bear in mind that circumcision is a very harmful, inurious amputation and should only be undertaken when the benefit of removing a diseased foreskin exceeds the certain harm and injury to the protective, immunological, sensory, and sexual functions of the foreskin.


Yes, its been incredibly miserable. Even as I write this im still having symptoms like pain, redness, irritation.

One of the main things my dermatologist wants is for me to wash my penis around three times a day(I don't thats just excessive). I use a bar soap he prescribed called Vanicream and I have had decent results. I shower every other day and wash with the soap. I had thought about just using water on the area but went with his advice instead thinking it would help. Its slightly improved some of the symptoms but its not eradicated anything. I will take your advice and cut back on washing and only use water when I do cleanse to help the natural oils and bacteria build back up.

As far as my foreskin goes, it covers my head completely and overhangs. Its not to tight and doesn't "choke". It has been painful during certain parts of this medical journey but I haven't even been told about circumcision yet. I have considered it but it may not even work, and I would lose something I have had my whole life that up till a few months, never gave me any problems. I wouldn't do it unless I had no other choice left.

I have thought about that, the partner having it and contracting it that way again. After oral sex, I have noticed that I tend to "flare up". I just haven't brought it up, I can't imagine that conversation going well.


I can only wish you the best and hope that you find a solution to your issues.


I had similar experiences. In the end, I got circumcised and it was the best thing I've ever done. I was terrified to do it and thought I might regret it. The only thing I regret is that I ever had to live life with foreskin. My penis literally got much more girthy, and I went from a small penis, to a penis that could definitely hold it's own in porn.

Turns out my foreskin was choking my penis to death. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

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What happened after you got circumcised? Did it get rid of everything you were going through? Sometimes I think I would do it if it go rid of the pain I have felt(not to mention the embarrassment).

My foreskin isn't to tight around my penis and it moves freely back and forth. I would like to keep it but with the way I have felt the last few months, I am considering it.


Yes, it instantly cleared everything up balanitis wise. And my penis has no smell or "cheese" now whatsoever.


Think of all the time you will save when you don't have to wash your penis 3x a day just to not have a smell and pain. Think about NEVER getting an infection again. Think about NO smell. No itchiness. Just a nice DICK that does what you want. Trust in the circ young padawan.

I would also add, "Get it done by a cosmetic surgeon who specializes in circ". That's what I did.


Hi I have the same I had circumcision did you consider? It won't get rid of the redness on top or it didn't for me but at least the foreskin gets better.


I did consider it. I just don't know if im ready to cut off a part of me that I like having. I don't enjoy the problems I have experienced the last few months, but im trying to remain hopeful that I can beat this(whatever it may be) and retain a natural part of penis in the process.


Let's be factful does anyone have a definite cure for your foreskin here? I am sorry but you can read here no one on this forum put their hand up so far and said.... I got the cure for balanitis. Everyone have some suggestions but there is no definite answers. This day and age I just think we need much more awareness around this. Effects me and sure others mentally and physically.


I was cured of balanitis that plagued me for years by getting circumcised at age 33 (1 year ago). I recommend it to all. Best thing I ever did. Get a good surgeon.


I can relate to your story as I have been dealing with something similar for abut 1 decade.

I have seen many doctors and dermos... i recent saw a new one who specializes in genital dermatology. He took a swab and it grew and acne bacteria.... very uncommon. Took one course of antibiotics cephalexin.. it cleared it up but came back right away....

I am now using a cephalexin topical lotion and it appears i am cured 100%. I am concerned it may come back but there are no symptoms at all so far.

This have been super expensive as I am paying the Dermo privately but well worth it.

My advice is keep trying and look for another dermo or Dr who is willibg to try new approaches.

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