Balanoposthitis is an inflammation that affects both the glans penis and prepuce. Many etiologies exist, but it can generally classify as either infectious, irritant, or traumatic in origin.
Balanitis refers to inflammation of the glans penis, while posthitis refers to inflammation of the prepuce. At birth, the prepuce, commonly referred to as the foreskin, is attached by adhesions to the glans. These nonpathological adhesions are responsible for physiologic phimosis or decreased retraction of the foreskin. Hsieh et al. found that 17.1% of first-grade boys had physiologic phimosis that decreased to 1.2% by seventh grade in a cohort of healthy children in Taiwan. In contrast, pathologic phimosis refers to an inability to retract the foreskin secondary to scarring of the prepuce.
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