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Sexual health and LGBT population
Living with HIV
Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP)
All children over the age of 3 and men should clean their penises at least once per day. It is important to learn how to do so if you do not know how. The aim is to make it difficult for organisms to grow under the foreskin by keeping the glans and the foreskin clean and dry.
The best place and time to do this is in a warm bath or shower that does not contain soap. If soap must be used, prefer soaps that have a neutral pH, and that are perfume or fragrance free. Gently retract the foreskin back towards your body until the glans is completely uncovered (Figures 1a and 1b) and allow the sensitive foreskin and tip beneath to be washed by the flow of water. Do not use any force. If there is any resistance or discomfort, check with a doctor. You can add a half cup of salt (125ml) to your bath if you wish. If you do not have access to a bath, a bowl of clean warm water (1.0L) in which you disolve a teaspoon of salt (5 ml) will suffice. Do not fully retract a foreskin in a child under the age of three.
After washing, dry the end of the penis and foreskin thoroughly. Also remember if you are drying a penis to dab and not to rub. If convenient, sit with your glans exposed to the air and light for 10 minutes or more. More thorough drying can be achieved by using a fan or hair dryer - not too hot!
After drying, replace the foreskin.
When you urinate, slide your foreskin back so that urine does not wet the foreskin (Figure 4). After urination, dry the end of your penis and replace the foreskin.
If you are prone to developing balanitis a few hours after sex, wash your penis as described above shortly after having sex. Make sure the glans is completely dry before replacing the foreskin.
These measures will lead to a rapid improvement in symptoms and will help prevent episodes of balanitis in future. If you experience repeated attacks of balanitis despite adequate foreskin hygiene, consult your doctor.