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Nonspecific balanitis in Child
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Nonspecific balanitis in Child

Contributors: Craig N. Burkhart MD, Dean Morrell MD, Lowell A. Goldsmith MD, MPH
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed


Balanitis is inflammation of the glans penis. Balanoposthitis refers to inflammation of both the glans and foreskin in uncircumcised males. It is most commonly seen in toilet-trained, uncircumcised boys between the ages of 2 and 5. Most cases are caused by inadequate hygiene of the preputial-glanular sulcus. Exposure to urine, soaps, Candida, and bacterial overgrowth exacerbate the dermatitis. Most boys only have one episode.


N48.1 – Balanitis

44882003 – Balanitis

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Diagnostic Pearls

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Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls

Group A beta-hemolytic streptococcal infection is the most common cause of acute inflammation of the glans penis in prepubescent children. Although it is usually associated with more intense pain, erythema, and discharge than nonspecific balanitis, the diseases may be clinically indistinguishable. Other signs that suggest streptococcal balanitis include the presence of Perianal streptococcal infection or a preceding throat infection.

Other diagnoses include the following:

  • Psoriasis
  • Scabies
  • Candidiasis
  • Primary syphilis
  • Primary gonorrhea infection
  • Chlamydial infections
  • Herpes simplex virus (HSV)
Primary dermatoses
  • Psoriasis
  • Lichen sclerosus
  • Fixed drug eruption
Contact dermatoses / trauma
  • Allergic contact dermatitis  (eg, exposure to skin cleansers, topical medications, etc)
  • Irritant contact dermatitis
  • Child sexual abuse

Best Tests

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Management Pearls

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Drug Reaction Data

Below is a list of drugs with literature evidence indicating an adverse association with this diagnosis. The list is continually updated through ongoing research and new medication approvals. Click on Citations to sort by number of citations or click on Medication to sort the medications alphabetically.

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Last Updated:09/10/2017
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Patient Information for Nonspecific balanitis in Child
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Nonspecific balanitis in Child
A medical illustration showing key findings of Nonspecific balanitis : Glans of penis, Skin erosion, Blanching patch
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