Preventing balanitis

You can usually reduce your chances of developing balanitis if you avoid potential irritants and infections, and keep your penis clean.

Avoiding irritants

Possible irritants to avoidinclude:

  • soaps and bubble bath
  • baby wipes
  • creams
  • latex condoms
  • lubricants

You can buy Emollients to use instead of soap and latex-free condoms made for sensitive skin.

Penis hygiene

To keep your penis clean, you should:

  • make sure the tip of your penis is completely dry and free of urineafter urinating
  • carefully wash the head of your penis with water every day and gently clean under your foreskin
  • make sure you dry your penisthoroughly after bathing or showering

This advicealso applies to children, although young boys may not yet be able to clean under their foreskin because it may not fully pull back. This should not be forced and should eventually become possible as they get older.

Babies and young children who still wear nappies may also be at a higher risk of balanitis due to the warm and moist conditions, so make sure you change your child's nappy regularly.

Read about how to wash a penis .


Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can sometimes cause balanitis, so reducing yourchances of picking up one of these infections may lower yourrisk of developing the condition.

STIs can oftenbe prevented by using appropriate contraception and taking other precautions, such as:

  • using condoms every time you have vaginal or anal sex
  • using a condom to cover the penis, or a latex or plastic square (dam) to cover the female genitals, if you have oral sex
  • not sharing sex toys, or washing them and covering them with a new condom before anyone else uses them


Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 4 Jan 2017