Both men and women typically have a healthy level of Candidayeast in their body. However, when the yeast builds up, it can cause a variety of symptoms.
Women tend to experience more vaginal fungal infections than men. During sexual intercourse, men might be exposed to fungus/yeast whether it’s the actual pathogen or their proteins that can then trigger off a fungal infection of the penis, otherwise known as fungal balanitis. This however is NOT the only way men can get balanitis.
While many men don’t experience noticeable symptoms of a yeast infection of their genitalia, some might experience symptoms such as:
burning sensation while urinating
discomfort during sex
redness and itching on the head of the penis or around the penis
small lacerations/linear tears of the foreskin
redness or inflammation around the foreskin
Symptoms of balanitis include:
itching and redness on the penis
thick white substance collecting in skin folds
shiny, white skin
painful penis and foreskin
Are There Factors That Put You At Greater Risk Of Developing Fungal Balanitis?
Yes. If you are:
have poor hygiene
are commonly prescribed antibiotics
If I Have Fungal Balanitis How Can It Be Managed?
Creams – topical antifungal creams applied a couple of times a day
Oral anti-fungal tablets can either be given daily or once a week if creams alone are not working
Drying agents – like potassium permanganate solution can be used with your doctors advice to reduce excessive moisture over the penis head and foreskin that encourages fungal growth
Have your female sex partners checked by a doctor, perhaps she has vaginal yeast infection which she is not fully aware of
Tip: After sex check to see if you have specks of whitish clumps stuck to your penis. This might suggest that your partner is having a vaginal yeast/ fungal infection.
Tip: Fungal balanitis can often be one of the first ways diabetes presents itself
Ask your doctor for a diabetes checks especially if your fungal infections are recurrent and if you have existing risk factors like a strong family history of diabetes
Can Other Penile Skin Conditions Look Like Fungal Balanitis?
Yes! There are a few skin condition that can mask like a fungal balanitis. These conditions can be misdiagnosed as a yeast infection. Often when you penile rash responds poor to the antifungal treatment your doctor might suggest one of these skin conditions as a possible diagnosis.
These penile skin conditions include:
like bacterial vaginosis and other bacterias
dryness of the penile skin
autoimmune disease involving the skin of the penis
Balanitis Xerotica Obliterans (BXO)
this should never be confused for fungal balanitis as its treatment is very different. It presents with white penile lesions, itchiness, painful erections and voiding, and bleeding or ulceration with intercourse.. The foreskin can become thickened and permanent stuck to the head of the penis, and urethral strictures can develop.
Pre-cancerous skin condition
a reaction in response to agents like creams, oils, or lubricants or condoms used
Fixed drug eruptions
an inflamed penis with or without blistering in response to drugs/medications consumed
Can A Fungal Balanitis Become More Complicated?
Yes. This is especially true for uncircumcised men.
The penis head and the foreskin can get so inflamed and swollen from the fungal infection such that:
The foreskin is unable to retract back to reveal the head of the penis. This is called phimosis
The foreskin get trapped and swollen behind the head of the penis strangling it making this condition very painful. This is called paraphimosis
Our Men’s Health experienced Female Doctors are ready to listen to your issues. Visit us at InSync Medical Located along East Coast Road in the heart of Katong, Singapore.