What is Postitis?
In medicine, the term “posthitis” refers to inflammation and/or infection of the prepuce , the retractable mucocutaneous layer that covers the glans of the penis . In general, the inflammation does not remain limited to the preputial level, but tends to extend to the glans as well : in similar situations, we speak of balano posthitis ; when instead the inflammatory process affects only the glans, without affecting the foreskin, the disorder is known as balanitis (from balanus = glans).
The term postite is composed of a root post – (poste, from the Greek pósthē), foreskin index (anatomical area affected by the disease), and by an ending –itis, indicating inflammation.
As we have seen, postitis involves only the foreskin; therefore, the affected subject complains of the following disturbances:
- skin of the foreskin particularly dry and purulent ;
- widespread swelling and redness on the foreskin, with possible formation of exudate;
- bleeding wounds on the preputial level;
- formation of micro-lesions and sores on the foreskin, which are accentuated during intercourse;
- burning and/or possible pain during intercourse ;
- loss of elasticity and small cracks on the foreskin;
- preputial skin excoriations ;
- preputial microvesiculation;
- phimosis (preputial narrowing);
- discomfort sometimes associated with pain during intimate hygiene : the typical feeling of patients suffering from postitis is the “skin that pulls” due to cleaning the glans;
- whitish spots affecting the foreskin;
- the glans has no red spots , irritation, excoriations or pain.
Causes and related diseases
The triggering causes that generate postitis are almost the same analyzed for balanoposthitis and balanitis: they are mostly infectious etiological factors (e.g. Chlamydia , trichomoniasis , Herpes simplex ), toxic (e.g. intolerance to particular medicinal products), traumatological, autoimmune, metabolic, allergic (e.g. contact dermatitis ).
Among all, Candida albicans stands out , a fungus which, under normal conditions, resides in the digestive system of all individuals: in unbalanced conditions, Candida albicansit could cause damage, therefore burning, itching and small pustules . Candida postitis , in turn, could be favored by diabetes mellitus , urethritis , and gonorrhea .
Poor intimate hygiene , or the excessive use of irritating detergents could also predispose to postitis: in general, however, incorrect hygiene of the genitals also causes irritation at the level of the glans, as well as the foreskin.
Furthermore, the disease could be transmitted through sexual contagion: not surprisingly, postitis fits into the category of sexually transmitted diseases .
The symptoms caused by postitis sometimes reflect an ammonia dermatitis , mainly caused by pathogenic microorganisms capable of decomposing urea; consequently urea is released in the urine [taken from Clinical Andrology , By Wolf-Bernhard Schill, Frank H. Comhaire, Timothy B. Hargreave].
According to some authors, postitis represents the most obvious complication of balanitis.
Given the heterogeneity of the triggering factors, before proceeding with the treatment of postitis, the doctor must identify the cause through a targeted andrological examination. Although this kind of check is remarkably embarrassing for most men, the patient suffering from postitis (or balanoposthitis) should undergo the visit as soon as possible, in order to speed up healing. A meticulous bacteriological and mycological investigation will follow in order to isolate the responsible bacteria.
Your partner should also be examined, as she may be infected.
Typically, specific antimicrobials are prescribed, such as metronidazole and clotrimazolewith topical action; cortisone creams can also be useful, especially in case of suspected contact dermatitis.
When postitis is generated by incorrect intimate hygiene, the affected man will have to correct his hygienic habits.
In some cases, circumcision could be a permanent solution to redeem the patient from balanitis.