Posthitis (balanoposthitis) in a child

EBM Guidelines
Dec 18, 2020 • Latest change Jan 3, 2017
Tuija Lahdes-Vasama

Table of contents


  • Bacterial infection of the glans penis and the foreskin (balanoposthitis) is a common condition among preschool-age children. It is usually caused by a physiologically tight foreskin and fingering of the foreskin with soiled hands. The term balanitis is often used for the inflammation of the foreskin even if it actually means inflammation of the glans.
  • Bathing is the only treatment needed in mild cases. Local antimicrobial or antifungal ointment may be necessary in more severe ones.
  • An orally administered antimicrobial drug may be considered if posthitis (infection of the foreskin) is not settled by topical treatment or if a rapid test for streptococcus taken from the preputial discharge is positive.
  • In complicated cases, circumcision may be warranted.

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N48.1, balanitis, balanoposthitis, child, childhood balanitis, foreskin, posthitis, preputium