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Severe case of Balanitis for 4 years. Please help

Hi all, I'm having a severe issue....I am uncircumcised but keep myself very clean. I have never had an issue. A little over 4 years ago, my penis got extremely irritated....It turned red raw and hurt to the touch. I let it heal and it seemed okay but then I suddenly started having an issue with extreme amounts of smegma. Here I am 4 years later. I have to wash my penis about 3 times a day. I've seen at least 4 doctors, all have tried creams to no avail. I've been told from 2 doctors, the only thing that COULD cure it is a circumcision. I went to see the specialist about doing the procedure, and he didn't seem too confident it would cure it....in fact, it's so bad he's afraid if I do that, it would just become infected immediately. So, I'm left to washing it multiple times a day with water and peroxide. Peroxide is the only thing that removes it entirely. I've been totally single for years because of this. It is so disgusting and embarrassing. Please help....Please....it's been a long 4 years.
2 Responses
207091 tn?1337709493
I'm wondering if the peroxide is causing more harm than good. It can be really caustic to the skin - especially the thinner skin of your penis, and kill off the good bacteria that might help keep everything in check, allowing the balanitis to get worse. At this point, your skin doesn't know what to do on it's own, so it's just sending signals to create more moisture, and you're just drying it out.

Try using a non-soap cleanser, once a day. It may feel really gross at first, especially since you are used to cleaning it so often. There are also really gentle soaps you can use. Here's a list of recommendations for people with eczema, but they should work for you, too -


You can also try one of the creams your doctor prescribed with it, but try eliminating the peroxide first. Do the doctors know you are using that?

  The doctors told me the same thing when I told them I was using peroxide yet offered no help other than, "You may just have to live with it, sorry.".  I tried all of the creams for the amount of time it was prescribed...nothing helped. In fact, some made it worse. I'll clean it without peroxide, and notice there's still an odor. So, I'll use peroxide and all of a sudden you'll see white clumps gather and I'm able to wash it away. It's the only thing that seems to actually clean it.  I dealt with this for 18 months before I started using the peroxide, I just got to the point where I didn't care how I could get rid of it and it seemed to work....then it came back. I'm at my wits end....I may just have to try the circumcision...I don't know.
What type of doctors are you seeing? Are any urologists or dermatologists? That's who you should be seeing.

I don't think you need to just live with it - that's horrible advice - but I think there has to be something else to try before circumcision.
First 1 was my primary, she sent me to a dermatologist, he gave me creams and offered cleaning advice and what. Didn't work. Went back to Primary, and they sent me to a urologist. Same result...I don't remember exactly how I did this, but I someone got in to see a different urologist to discuss this issue along with plans for a circumcision. Again, nothing ever came out of it except for more disappointment. I am going to the store later and I'm gonna pick up the Aquaphor and Aveeno the website you linked above suggests. I'm not a bar soap person and I strictly use DOVE ever since the dermatologist explained why they are the better soap company a few years back.
No idea what this is, but peroxide is really bad for the skin used repeatedly.  The soaps you are using and everything you are considering using have a lot of artificial and toxic ingredients in them, including Dove and Aveeno.  I would suggest trying natural cleansers that don't have the harsh and toxic additives commercial brands have.  I'd also look into just using very simple remedies such as pure aloe vera gel -- and I mean pure, which rules out anything sold in drugstores or supermarkets.  I'm talking the best health food stores.  Steroidal creams have a habit of making the problem recur.  At this point, I'd go for purity and gentleness and patience.  I can't say I understand why circumcision would make the problem worse, but I also really don't understand why that area needs to be cleaned so constantly.  Any time you do that no matter how gentle the soap you are drying it out and just making it more likely to become irritated.  Look, when docs fail you, go to the medicine they practiced before they only learned how to do chemical medicine.  Sometimes that's best, but with lingering problems it's perhaps time to try the gentler and purer plant based things people used to use and some still use.  There are a lot of good sources to research for those ways to deal with it.  Best of luck whatever you try.
134578 tn?1614729226
How have you been doing with this? Smegma is normal and no big deal. It only comes in big amounts for a reason, one of those reasons being irritated skin, and a regime of peroxide and cleaning three times a day is really harsh. It's kind of like a woman repetitively douching with a chemical douche, she doesn't actually need to douche at all, and should never use anything except water if she does, or the delicate skin in the area will overreact.
My suggestion is to clean the area with just plain water, or maybe a mild saline solution (8 teaspoons to a gallon of water is a formula a woman wrote recently that she used for a perineal tear). And especially, not to bug it three times a day like you were. Have you laid off the obsessive washing and seen where you get?
The other question I have is, has any of your doctors ever considered that you have an infection of a different kind that just looks like smegma? Were you put on an antibiotic for the original infection? It might actually be something else. That would explain why just washing is not taking it away.
For example, it could be a penile yeast infection. Did the doctors test the substance you're calling smegma to rule that out? Yeast infections of the penis can cause balanitis, and also can get more serious, causing invasive candidiasis.
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