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  • Balanitis questions

    I figured that if anyone knows how to get rid of balanitis without circumcision it would be someone who dealt with it while or after restoring. I've had it since June. All but one of the doctors I've seen about it have at least suggested circumcision. One even insisted that it is absolutely impossible to get rid of it without circumcision. I must have given him some kind of look. In a very confused tone he said "You don't want to be circumcised!?" I won't even set foot in the building he works in now. The problem is that antifungals are all they've been willing to give me.

    I finally found a doctor last week who agreed to consider the possibility of it being bacterial and gave me some muprocin. So far I've tried miconazole, fluconazole, nystatin, and a clotriminazole betamethasone cream. Some alternatives I've tried include coconut oil, and tea tree oil, and quite a few more ridiculous sounding alternatives. I wear a ring to keep it back while I'm at home and put a piece of toilet paper underneath while I'm out. I haven't used soap to clean it since July, water only. I use a blow dryer for no less than 10 minutes after each shower. I've cut yeast, caffine, and starch out of my diet. I've cut sugar intake to 6 grams most days, and carb intake to less than 80 grams. I'm in better shape at 32 than I was at 18 after eating like that since October, but nothing is making this go away.

    I'm not even ruling circumcision out as a valid treatment, but nobody has even agreed to test it yet. I have to know beyond all shadow of a doubt that it's the one and only valid option before I do it. There are also a lot of other things it could be ranging from something as benign as psoriasis to something as major as an early sign of penile cancer. I understand that yeast is the most common cause, but there is no way to visually tell the difference between the most benign and the most severe condition that can cause this, or anything in between.

    I also can't get a straight answer about whether it's contagious or not. The most common answer seems to be that it's almost never contagious. I haven't taken any chances because I consider almost never contagious to be the worst kind of contagious.

    I'm really needing some advice because although a rash hasn't formed I can feel the itching and burning in my foreskin too.

  • #2
    First of all, I assume your doctors have taken a swab/slide to send to the lab to try to identify any of the usual suspect beasties under the microscope. Those can come back inconclusive, but you didn't mention this so it has to be asked about. Did that happen? I assume you self treated with some of those medications mentioned, but was one or more written for by the doc? ID'ing the causative agents is really where you'd start in all this. You haven't directly mentioned the possibility of an STD, so if there was a partner involved shortly before the appearance of your symptoms, you'd want to go back and look into that, no pun intended.

    You say you're in good shape so I also assume your doc(s) did the usual blood test for diabetes (on the spot and possibly an A1c), and at least asked about your medical history. In the meantime I'd stay away from so-called alternative treatment, until you know more about what the symptoms represent; easy to obscure the actual cause by causing irritation from the inevitable crap sold as "alternative".

    Also, you say there's no rash, just itching/burning, so all you really know at this point is you've been given a general Dx of "balanitis". Was that a guess on the doctor's part, or what did he base it on? Any swelling, redness? You didn't diagnose yourself, I hope.

    Comment


    • #3
      Nobody I've seen has agreed to do tests of any kind. They say it's not necessary, it would look worse if it wasn't yeast, or it's notoriously hard to do. They've made no attempt to identify what's causing it other than a few questions about my sexual history to rule out herpes. It's been over a year since I was last sexually active, so I know it's not an std.

      I'm in better shape than I was at 18, but I'm nowhere near being in good shape. I'm 5'9, somewhere between 190-195, with a bmi of 29.5. I just got it below 30 this month. I know it could be a symptom of diabetes. That's actually what motivated me to get serious about losing weight to begin with. My doctor said that I would unquestionably end up diabetic if I didn't lose weight. I was 330 at the time. That was 2 years ago. The last doctor I saw did agree to do some lab work since I wanted to see how much my cholesterol levels have gone down, but he said testing for diabetes wasn't necessary, despite the fact that he said this could be a symptom of it.

      There is no rash on the foreskin. The rash is on my glans. The doctors have all insisted on sticking with visual diagnosis only, and a few questions. I wouldn't call it swelling, but there were some raised bumps at first. They went away after a few weeks of using miconazole. The glans still has the rash, but isn't burning or itching anymore. The foreskin is starting to burn and itch, but there is no rash.

      No matter who I see about it all they're willing to offer me is anti fungal creams or circumcision.

      Comment


      • #4
        I know US medicine is broken, but it sounds like you're getting the minimum of interest out of somebody. One of the beginning boxes in anybody's algorithm is, if one or more treatments don't work and the symptoms persist you'd at least involve the lab just to see if anything stands out, and that includes an A1c, especially if you told the patient that it might be diabetes. Circumcision has no effect on diabetes, other than possibly complicating the circ, so you have to wonder what's going through that guy's head. Jesus.

        Anyhow, nobody here is a physician, so the best suggestion you'll probably get is to give the muprocin time to work (the prescribing doc must've given you a timeframe), don't put any "alternative" crap on the area, and ask for a urinalysis. THAT'S no big deal, involves the lab, and you can remind the doctor that while you're all up, do an A1c, or at least have his office nurse do a finger stick. I'm assuming you have medical insurance. If you do, give them a call if he refuses, file a complaint. You can ask your doctor for a referral to a urologist as well, based on your doc's failure to successfully treat the symptoms. I would do that before I filed a complaint, though, gives you more ground to stand on. A penis is an organ, not something to make "go away", and any physician's refusal to aggressively treat persisting symptoms of an organ, rather than blindly hacking part of it off, is suspicious at best.

        Comment


        • #5
          Have you tried adding a little white vinegar to the miconazole (Monistat) before applying it to your skin? Adding a little vinegar is supposed to made it work much better. Just put a dollop of miconazole in the palm of your hand, and then mix a few drops of vinegar in with your finger before applying it.

          There is a "cute," but very factual, web site on genital yeast infections hosted from Michigan State University that may be helpful to you:
          https://www.msu.edu/user/eisthen/yeast/men.html

          David
          World As Monkey Island
          I declared myself finished restoring with 3/4 erect coverage (CI-8.5) in 2005. I primarily used T-tape, strapping up and around my waist.
          I've participated in NORM meetings in San Diego, Los Angeles, Seattle (RECAP), and Ann Arbor, Michigan.

          Every doubt, reservation, or concern I had about my restoration was resolved by achieving additional foreskin LENGTH.....So just KOT !

          Comment


          • #6
            I haven't tried vinegar. I'm not afraid to try alternatives when conventional doesn't work, but the thought of putting vinegar on my penis makes me more than a little nervous. Would it work just as well mixed with any other cream? I alternate every few days hoping to keep it from becoming resistant. What about aloe vera, zinc, hydrocortisone, or other emollients like eucerin? Could any of that do any good? Do you mind me asking if this advice is based on experience?

            Comment


            • #7
              What about some UV light? Perhaps a short session on a suntan bed junk out. Shed a little sunshine on the situation.
              Advanced Devices Inc.
              http://foreskin-restoration.info/
              Adhesi-Med Skin Safe Medical Adhesive
              Supercanister Tuggers
              Torpedo Tugging Weights

              Intaction - Understand the Harm, Change the World, Are You Ready?
              Join the I DID NOT CONSENT Army
              http://intaction.org/

              Comment


              • #8
                Everything you have said so far indicates to me that you have a simple case of a yeast infection. That is the most likely scenario. Anti-fungals are effective against yeast because yeast are like unicellular fungi.

                Application of miconazole with a few drops of vinegar added should do the trick for you. If you don't like vinegar, lemon juice is a perfectly acceptable substitute. The addition of vinegar or lemon juice to the miconazole makes it much more potent. Patients report that it works like magic.

                You said you've already seen a response to miconazole, then you discontinued using it! You shouldn't have done that. Anti-fungals are just like antibiotics. You have to continue using them after the infection has apparently resolved. This is because, after the infection has apparently resolved, a few of the most resistant of the microorganisms invisibly remain. These are called "persisters" by microbiologists. If you discontinue the use of the anti-fungal before the persisters are killed off, the infection can come back even more ferociously than before. Switching medications every few days is something you shouldn't do. It will encourage the production of resistant microorganisms, not prevent it!

                Human skin and human mucosal surfaces (like female vaginal tracts, and the glans and inner foreskin) are microbial ecosystems. Many bacterial species are present. Most of them are friendly bacterial species. Yeast are also always present, but their proliferation is kept in check by the friendly bacteria. What we call a "yeast infection" is thus an ecological disaster where the bacteria have failed to keep the yeast in check, and the yeast have overrun the system. The friendly bacteria favor an acidic environment. Yeast like a more alkaline environment. The pH of the female vaginal tract is pH 4, quite acidic. I don't know what the pH of the male prepucial space is, but it is almost certainly also similarly acidic. Restore the natural acidity of the mucosal surface gives the friendly bacteria the uper hand in regulating the yeast proliferation.

                When people get a genital yeast infection, they often think that it was because they lapsed in their hygiene. They then overcompensate by overwashing with lots of soap and water. This is exactly the wrong thing to do because soap is very alkaline, and it leaves the area even more alkaline than before, giving the yeast the upper hand. You have to re-acidify the area to give the friendly bacteria the upper hand.

                Women who get frequent yeast infections often find that douching with a vinegar and water solution, or a lemon juice and water solution, is an effective home remedy that completely eliminates the yeast infection without resorting to anti-fungals like miconazole at all.

                The recipe for the douching solution given at the Michigan State web site I cited above is: To one quart of water, add 2 tablespoons of white or cider vinegar, or the juice of half a lemon. I suggest you make such a solution and use it as a rinse over the affected area.

                David
                World As Monkey Island
                I declared myself finished restoring with 3/4 erect coverage (CI-8.5) in 2005. I primarily used T-tape, strapping up and around my waist.
                I've participated in NORM meetings in San Diego, Los Angeles, Seattle (RECAP), and Ann Arbor, Michigan.

                Every doubt, reservation, or concern I had about my restoration was resolved by achieving additional foreskin LENGTH.....So just KOT !

                Comment


                • #9
                  Tony- I haven't heard about uv light doing anything for it. Have you actually tried this before?

                  Science Monk- I haven't gone a day without using antifungals twice a day since July. Wouldn't the antifungals have killed it by now if it was yeast? I think the miconazole was all I used for the first a month before trying anything else. Everyone I saw kept saying to come back in 2 weeks for something else if it wasn't gone by then. The last doctor I saw is the only one who didn't even mention the possibility of circumcision or dismiss the possibility of it being something other than yeast. He still wasn't much better. He still dismissed the need to test it. His exact words were "That kind of testing is notoriously hard." You think it would be better to pick one antifungal and just stick with it? How long would you suggest using one before trying another? I already know that a lapse in hygiene isn't what did this. This is what finally convinced me that putting soap on the glass isn't good. I just wish I could have figured out before this that improper hygiene could mean being too thorough just as easily as it could mean not being thorough enough.

                  Everyone I've seen about it has said that I need to keep it exposed and dry as possible because it thrives in a warm moist environment. I've been doing it since October and still can't figure out how anyone puts up with it. There is no way I'm being talked into making that feeling permanent if gangrene, cancer, or flesh eating bacteria isn't involved. Another thing that made me reconsider it was talking to men who had it done for this reason. Those who said it went away as opposed to those who said it didn't was about 50/50, and 2 of them even said it got worse.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Balanitisthrowaway View Post
                    Tony- I haven't heard about uv light doing anything for it. Have you actually tried this before?
                    I am cut so I can't say I've had this issue. UV treatment is sometimes suggested for toenail fungus. Also,http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC557063/

                    Furthermore, have you ever seen fungi grow in direct sunlight?
                    Furthermore, what's the downside of trying a suntanning bed? I would suggest 2x/week for 5 minutes per session with foreskin retracted.
                    Lastly, Google is your friend.
                    Advanced Devices Inc.
                    http://foreskin-restoration.info/
                    Adhesi-Med Skin Safe Medical Adhesive
                    Supercanister Tuggers
                    Torpedo Tugging Weights

                    Intaction - Understand the Harm, Change the World, Are You Ready?
                    Join the I DID NOT CONSENT Army
                    http://intaction.org/

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Sorry Balantisthrowaway. I was under the impression that you were changing medications every few days. I didn't know that you had been at this for over 6 months, or that you had used the anti-fungals so extensively.

                      Nevertheless, putting a few drops of vinegar in over-the-counter vaginal yeast creams to make them work better is a dirty little folk secret that may prove very useful to you. It's a little folk secret that, for some mysterious reason, the doctors and pharmaceutical don't what you to know about. Also a vinegar water (or lemon water) rinse may also prove very useful (and pat dry afterward). Keeping the area acidified is key if it is a yeast infection, or an infection with another species of fungus for that matter.

                      David
                      World As Monkey island
                      I declared myself finished restoring with 3/4 erect coverage (CI-8.5) in 2005. I primarily used T-tape, strapping up and around my waist.
                      I've participated in NORM meetings in San Diego, Los Angeles, Seattle (RECAP), and Ann Arbor, Michigan.

                      Every doubt, reservation, or concern I had about my restoration was resolved by achieving additional foreskin LENGTH.....So just KOT !

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I understand that yeast is the most common cause of infections like this, but has anyone else had this kind of trouble getting a doctor to agree to getting it tested when it lasts this long after they keep insisting on the same treatment again and again? How can I know they're right if they won't test it?

                        I decided to go back to only switching creams monthly instead of twice a week. I decided on miconazole for this month.

                        I tried searching the whole network, but every doctor listed in the state I'm in is a pediatrician. I hate to sound so paranoid, but I can't help wondering if they're waiting for me to agree to a circumcision before trying anything else.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          So what specialty is your current primary care physician?

                          Something isn't right here.

                          Testing isn't "notoriously hard", testing is simplicity itself, you just swab the symptomatic area, and swab the surrounding area, try not to sneeze on the swabs, put them in the bottles/envelope, label it, and treat it and/or analyze it under the scope when you can get to it. Just send the patient in to the lab for this to happen. That's how it works everywhere. The results may be inconclusive, but testing.........it's easy, NOT notoriously hard. Doctor doesn't do any of this, the lab tech does. So that's either poorly worded or outright nonsense.

                          The only listed providers in your entire State are pediatricians? Do I have to comment on this (do you live at DisneyWorld )? Again, either poorly worded, or nonsense.

                          A UA can be done at the same lab visit. If I was a provider I'd want to know what beasties are rollin' down your urethra, 'cause who knows where the source is.

                          An A1c can be done at the same lab visit. If I was a provider I'd want to know what your metabolic status is, weight loss or not.

                          You don't walk away from diagnostics in Medicine, especially when they're so basic, and a part of anybody's workup, and ordering all of it is just checking some boxes on a form that you send the patient in with. That's not "difficult".

                          Somethin' ain't hangin' right.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Balanitisthrowaway View Post
                            I tried searching the whole network, but every doctor listed in the state I'm in is a pediatrician. I hate to sound so paranoid, but I can't help wondering if they're waiting for me to agree to a circumcision before trying anything else.
                            You might also try contacting the NOCIRC or NORM Coordinator from a Chapter near you. Sometimes they can give you a referral to a foreskin-friendly physician.
                            NOCIRC
                            http://nocirc.org/centers/centers.php
                            NORM
                            http://www.norm.org/coord.html

                            When making and appointment with any doctor, ask upfront about their position on circumcision. Tell them upfront that you are consulting with them because of a foreskin problem, and that you don't consider circumcision a treatment option. Don't be shy. You have nothing to lose, and can only gain, by doing so. If you can't get a straight answer from them before the visit, you aren't going to have a positive interaction once you are there. Hang up.

                            You might also consider a visit to a foreign doctor from a non-circumcising culture.
                            ‚Äč
                            Consider going to a pediatrician. I was once referred to a pediatrician as an adult because I had a malady that mostly affects kids. He turned out to be the very best doctor to see.

                            We all have the right to be paranoid about this circumcision thing. The medical establishment is selling coded procedures, and circumcision is a lucrative one. The prestige of a doctor at a major medical center is proportional to how much money he rakes in. You cannot rely on doctors to act as your agent anymore because so many of them have become mere salespersons for coded procedures.

                            David
                            World As Monkey Island
                            I declared myself finished restoring with 3/4 erect coverage (CI-8.5) in 2005. I primarily used T-tape, strapping up and around my waist.
                            I've participated in NORM meetings in San Diego, Los Angeles, Seattle (RECAP), and Ann Arbor, Michigan.

                            Every doubt, reservation, or concern I had about my restoration was resolved by achieving additional foreskin LENGTH.....So just KOT !

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I have sent an email to several organizations including nocirc asking if they can recommend a doctor near me.

                              I guess I will have to insist on finding these things out ahead of time after the bad luck I've been having.

                              I thought a foreign doctor would be more understanding, but he wasn't. I heard how thick his Chinese accent was and just assumed he would know how to treat this. He's the one who was so insistent that no other treatment works.

                              Have any of you had a doctor who thought you were intact try to talk you into getting circumcised?

                              Comment

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