Coconut Oil for Balanitis and Other Penile Infections

Today I am sharing a wonderful guest post from my online natural parenting bloggy friend Christine of African Babies Don’t Cry! Since she has a son, she is much more well versed on certain male health topics than I am and I figured we needed to mix things up a little on here today! I hope anyone with a son saves this for future reference! I honestly knew nothing at all about Balanitis and am so glad that Christine was willing to write about her experience.


My son recently suffered from a nasty case of Balanitis which frightened the heck out of me, because I of course have never experienced it and you never know how painful it is. I frantically scoured the internet searching for natural treatments and ways to quell the infection with no luck. Chatting to mommy friends didn’t help either, only one of them had experienced the same with their son and they had resorted to using over the counter medication and antibiotics which I hoped to avoid. None had heard of it before with their husbands and although it is very common (affecting 1 in every 25 boys), it is not something often spoken about because of the location of the infection.

My two year old son’s penis was inflamed and tender, but he was managing to urinate without pain and although it was tender he was not in agony – although he does seem to have a rather high pain threshold. I suspected a bacterial infection from touching it with grubby hands – little boys love to fiddle πŸ˜‰

Hybrid Rasta Mama : Treating Balanitis & other Penile Infection Naturally, with Coconut Oil


What is Balanitis?

Balanitis is an inflammation of the glans penis (the head, underneath the foreskin), the foreskin is often also infected as well as the shaft of the penis. It can be acute, lasting for only a short period of time, or it can be chronic lasting for several weeks, months or longer – it can also be recurrent.

During childhood and sometimes into puberty, the inner surface of the foreskin is attached to the glans. From about the age of two, the foreskin begins to naturally separate from the glans until it can be pulled back – this is a completely natural process which should not be forced. Most boys can pull back their foreskin by the age of 10, and 95 percent of boys can do this by the age of 17.

Balanitis is slightly more common in boys who haven’t been circumcised, and those who are not yet able to pull back their foreskin, but circumcised boys
need to be vigilant too.

Symptoms of Balanitis:

  • Red rash at the tip of the penis that may be scaly or ulcerated
  • Pain, tenderness and swelling
  • Itching and discomfort
  • Discharge or pus from underneath the foreskin, which may smell unpleasant
  • Unable to pull back the foreskin where before was possible. 
  • Other symptoms include a sore mouth,  pain in the joints, swollen or painful glands and a general unwell feeling.

The causes:

Acute Balanitis

  • Exposure to bacteria, yeast or fungus. Bacterial infections create a bright red
    surface and glistening drainage. Yeast infections cause white spots and
  • Irritant-contact Balanitis caused by contact to soap, detergents or antiseptics. 
  • Circumcised and
    uncircumcised babies sometimes develop Balanitis when they have
    diaper rash.
  • Side-effect of many medications including painkillers, sleeping tablets, laxatives and antibiotics.
  • Trauma to the penis or fiddling with the foreskin can sometimes cause balanitis.

Chronic balanitis

Balanitis xerotica obliterans (BXO), which is an inflammatory skin disorder affecting the foreskin, and sometimes the glans. It’s rare in children under the age of five.

Common symptoms of BXO include:

  • white scarring on the tip of the foreskin
  • the foreskin may become tough and stiff
  • pain when urinating
  • unable to pull back the foreskin (if your son was able to before)

The cause of BXO is uncertain; it may be the result of a viral infection. If left untreated, it may eventually cause the urethra to narrow, making it very difficult for your son to pass urine. In adults, if BXO is left untreated, there is a five percent chance that it may turn malignant (cancerous). However, there is no evidence of this in children.

Coconut oil for Balanitis and other penile infections:

Coconut oil is high in lauric acid and caprylic acid which makes it anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal – very effective at killing off candida yeast. Apply coconut oil to the affected area 3-4 times each day. This treatment is most effective if you are also taking the oil internally – 2-3 teaspoons per day. 

I found an easily way to apply it topically without having to rub it into the inflamed and sore area is to heat it in a glass bowl over hot water, draw it up into a dropper and squirt it over and into (under the foreskin, if possible) the penis. Make sure the coconut oil is warm (room or body temperature), not hot!!

This treatment immediately soothed my sons infection. After regular application in this manner the infection subsided and by the next morning it had completely cleared.

In conjunction with this, be sure to:

  • Clean the infected areas at least twice a day with a weak saline solution if you think the infection is bacterial, or with a weak apple cider vinegar solution if you think the infection is yeast or fungus related. 
  • Taking long warm baths in both the above solutions is soothing and helpful, two or three times per day. Splash clean the area carefully and let your son pull his foreskin back as far as is possible, very gently. In young children the foreskin will retract only slightly, so don’t force it
  • Epsom salts baths are a good idea too, as the magnesium in the salts help to draw out the infection, and promotes healing.
  • Avoid using any soaps, bubble baths or oils or talc powders which may cause irritations. 
  • If you think the infection is yeast related, cut all sugar out of the diet and take a good probiotic supplement. Adding fermented foods and vegetables to his diet in the long term will help prevent recurrences. 

Prevention of Balanitis and other Penile Infections:

Let your son learn good personal hygiene habits from an early age,

  • Wash the outside only (like you would a finger), do not retract the foreskin for him. Only the child will know when his foreskin can be retracted without pain and trauma so the first person to retract the foreskin should be the child himself.
  • Cleaning his hands often, especially before and after handling the penis – so urinating or fiddling – fiddling is normal for toddlers as they discover their body. Prevent embarrassing scenes by dressing them in dungarees when out in public πŸ˜‰
  • Trimming nails short and ensuring they are always clean – long nails can cause trauma to the glans whilst fiddling. 
  • Avoid the use of chemical soaps or cleansers, and wash with natural soaps or plain water.

When to see a GP:

  • If symptoms persists for longer than 3 to 5 days. 
  • If the symptoms become recurrent. 
  • It becomes painful or difficult to urinate. 

Note: If you son is intact be sure to inform your doctor that his foreskin should NOT be touched or retracted and to stay with your son at all times to protect him from a possible forced premature retraction.

Curious about what coconut oils I use and love? Find them here.

Christine is the author of African Babies Don’t Cry and is passionate about helping others reach their own health and wellness vision. She blogs about natural nutrition, cloth diapering, breastfeeding and more, and is passionate about living as naturally as possibly. Based in South Africa but also offering virtual sessions, she is a health coach specialising in remineralising for optimum health and wellness with the use of Tissue Salts. She believes everyone has the ability to achieve optimum health if they dream it! Schedule a Free Consultation today!

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  1. Jacquelyn says

    Hi there, thanks for the info! Wondering if this would also work for a UTI and/or yeast infections for girls?

  2. vijaya says

    I intercoursed with my wife may be during outdate ,so I itcy on my Orbison foreskin, its started pinning type itch my fore skin , so I visit go told same above reason, said some yeast or fungal infections, he dosed flucoti 150mg, two times ,cleared itch and white dischare infest foreskin, but remained pinning sense, it fired my penis tip ruptured, irrtiation while piss, mental stress ,later i visited skin specilist, clarified it is balanitis, I started search web ,now I applied coconet oil, amazing, healing fast, rather than antifungal cream dk jell, still healing feeling good let’s see

  3. Michael says

    Around Jan of 2013 I noticed discoloration on the head of my penis. The skin was starting to become visibly reddish in color. I didn’t experience any pain but it was an eye sore. I assumed it was probably due to some soap I used so I figured I’d wait it out (bad move). By Apr of 2013 practically the entire head of my penis had become reddish in color, and in addition to that the skin started to crack up and the skin started to come off (extremely dry skin). As the skin would begin to dry up and come off, sometimes it would hurt due to peeling off the skin underneath. I went to see a Urologist in Apr of 2014 and he gave me a prescription for a cream and some pills. He told me to take the pills and use the cream for a month (which I did) and it went away. However, I noticed it came back again, and I had to see the urologist a second time. He gave me another prescription (this time for a medicated cream only) and I used it again. The problem went away, and then came back again. At this point the urologist told me ‘I have no clue what the problem is. It can’t be cancerous because it would not be responsive at all to the cream I prescribed you, and it doesn’t hurt you when I push it. Go to a dermatologist’. At this point I’m pissed off because I wasted months paying co pays just for this guy to tell me to go to a dermatologist. Nov 2013 I went to a dermatologist and he stated I have something common called balanitis. He prescribed me a Hydrocortisone ointment 0.05 % and told me to use it twice a day for 30 days. I used the cream and noticed it wasn’t cutting it. It was working extremely slow, and by the time I went for my next appointment in early Dec 2013 the problem was still present. The dermatologist stated he would prescribe something stronger (Hydrocortisone ointment 0.2 %). Now at this point I became frustrated because I had enough of this already. I was tired of creams that didn’t work, and paying co pays while these doctors can’t figure it out. I started doing my research and read that ointments alone done cut it. I discovered that in addition to ointments you have to change your diet if you want to beat it. As a result I cut out most sugar from my diet. This is because sometimes yeast can be the root cause or part of the problem. I cut out all sweets, juice, fruits, and anything that contained lots of sugar. I also started taking all natural things daily that are known to help (grape fruit seed extract, garlic, organic coconut oil, and wild oregano oil). I also cut out alcohol because I’m an avid wine drinker. Every other day I use to have a glass to two glasses a day, alcohol contributes to yeast so I had to cut it out. Once I started doing all these things in conjunction with the cream I noticed a visible difference immediately. My skin color began to come back on the head of my penis, and the skin began to heal. I also would put Vaseline (no fragrance) on my penis twice a day and that helped as well. In addition I stopped using soap on my penis (due to soaps sometimes irritating it) and I used only water. Today is Dec 26 and my problem is essentially gone. Just here to share my story about what worked for me. Creams alone didn’t do it for me, but creams combined with a proper diet did. If this helps just one person then writing this was worth it. Peace.

    • says

      Wow! Thanks Michael! I am really glad that you decided to share your story. I think it is important for other men to realize that there is hope – naturally! Thanks and so glad that you are doing so well!

    • Jose says

      Or just here, i will try to tell my story (sorry for my english).

      All my life i had some dark spots or marks in my penis glans, like 3 or 4 big and some smalls, but totally a simple hiperpigmentation that have been there all my life with no problems at all.

      Like 2 months ago i started to see one of the spots being weird, like the skin lifted…some days after that skin peel off and removed, leaving like some kind of ulcera. I started to get really worried and as soon as i could i went to an urologist.

      He thougth was a simple balanitis, even i am circunscided, and tell me to try a simple regenerative cream. I started to try it and not much effect….and even a second mark near started to be also weird, i got really panic….

      I read in internet a lot, and while i was waiting for an appointment with dermatologits and another urologist, i tried a cream with clotrimazole….and also not much effect….but after a couple weeks one day it get really bad, those two marks get really red, and surrounded also red…and the top of the pennis surrounding uretra (the hole) and started to be a little itching and painful, that was the first time it get painful or itchy.

      Then i went for a dermatologist friend of my family the next day, she said that was an eczema and maybe the clotimatroze cream was even bad for that and maybe made it so red, but anyway, for her, nothing to worry (not for me of course). Anyway, she told me to try a corticosteroid cream. The first days started to work really good and i even started to be happy and hopefully again. But it just worked on the two marks, that are exactly the hipermegtation marks, and no in the top of the pennis. And at some point started to be a little more painful even….so i decided not to take so much cream just in case, i think corticosteroids are not a playing thing. Well….some days after it get really really bad again, and even now almost all of my glans took a red colour, if i have an erection, masturbation, or sex, gets really red and irritated, and that never never happened to me……

      I do not know what to do, and doctors are not giving me any solution.

      Why are related the hiperpigmentation with the “ulceras”. The skin is not growing the same as in the other parts, it looks a little brigthy when ligth spot them.

      Why is getting more irritative and red and bad every week? suppostly is not a STD because they made me test…but i am pretty sure that a bacteria or virus or something must be the cause of all this :(

      Salt baths are good? what more is good?

      I am losing hope, if this keeps getting worse its the end of my sex life and will be really depressing………….i am in panic :(

      rigth now i decided for some weeks try not to have sex, neither masturbation neither nothing….

  4. John Anderson says

    The article is brilliant, while in my case the doctor’s prescription of Candid and Primovate creams failed to work, along with other medications. Coconut oil worked marvellously, I was considering Neem oil too.

  5. Lucy says

    I have two intact sons and have never heard of this, nor experienced it. Great to know coconut oil works. Wonder if it would do the same for girls.


  6. Daniela Castelli says

    THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! God bless you for this piece of advice!!! SO precious. Too bad I didn’t read it before. Today I went to the doctor and he pretty forcefully pulled back the skin on my son penis. He screamed. He said that it was not normal, that it shouldn’t hurt normally and this proved ha had balanitis , ar first they thought it was a UTI and gave him a few days of antibiotics which didn’t work. I think he has balanitis indeed. The doctor today prescribed a zinc oxide cream and Augmentin (antibiotic). I am not going to give him the antibiotic since I think it is a fungal infection (the doctor had done days ago a urine test and it came back negative for bacteria, so I don’t understand why he prescribed antibiotics!) At home I pulled back the skin too and my son was in a lot of pain, in order to wash it and apply the zinc cream. I really hope not to have damaged it!!! I wish I had read this before. He was begging me not to, but I thought I had to do it to cure him! I will apply the coconut oil. What a blessing this article is! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

  7. Dr.SachinJain says

    hi, there great post helped me a lot, truly got excellent results of coconut oil in balanitis and other skin infections of glans and penile skin, thanks a lot. Dr Sachin Jain. ahmedabad gujarat, India.

    • Bimal says

      I hv rash on penis head and redness and pain after sex. I visited urologist .they told me prostTe inflammation. Till now after 2years my symptoms is still persistent. I tried all cream prescribed by urologist. Totally helpless n feel my sex life is totAlly ruined. So help me by providing ur valuable tips

      • says

        Oh Bimal! I am terribly sorry that you are going through this. 2 years? Wow. It sounds like friction is your enemy. Although, if it is prostate inflammation, that is a whole other story. Do you have an herbalist you can go to? I think you might benefit from some teas and tinctures.

        • Shyam says

          Hi thanks for this brilliant article and response.i think it might be d way I started using coconut oil.i got some improvement.tell me how to use it.i mean cold oil or warm.i am from Korea as foreigner.i visited two urologist but due to language barriers I failed to tell my problem n they just look at say its fine.rash pain redness all can be seen during I m doing self treatment .i think it might be irritation or glans inflammation .does coconut oil prove miracle to me.and for how long time I hv to use it for best result

  8. Paula says

    Thank you for sharing this information. I have 4 boys and so far 3 of them have suffered with balanitis. Unfortunately with the first I took him to the doctor and she prescribed an antibiotic. He only got it once. It wasn’t until a few years later that my other son got the same thing. The first time he suffered from it, I also took him to the doctor. Again it was the same treatment. I was a little irritated that she did not tell me anything about it, and just handed out an antibiotic. Thd next time he got an inflammation I did a little research and saw thst it can be caused from yeast. I happened to have some nystatin cream in the medicine cabinet and applied it. It did clear it up. Unfortunatly he got balanitis a couple more times after that. I think though I ended at the doctor because it would not clear it up with nystatin alone. He would get so uncomfortable and in pain thst I just caved with the antibiotics. We cloth diaper, and I think they have seen better days. He was the fourth to go through the cloth diapers. Which brings me to today. My 4th son who is 11months old, woke with balanitis. I am currently using coconut oil with do terras melaluca oil mixed in with it. I did apply nystatin first thing this morning because I did not know about using coconut oil until my sister in law filled me in on how awesome it is. I also let him soak in a salt water bath. It seems to be working. He doesn’t have any discomfort, but it is still red and swollen(not nearly as much as earlier).
    I read in your blog that taking the coconut oil internally as well as applying topically works best. I will research if any harm comes to giving internally to my 11 month. I am also applying oregano oil and wild orange oil to the bottoms of his feet. I am praying this all does the job. I really don’t want to go the antibiotic route. Thanks again for posting with some other things to try.

  9. MSwal says

    Hi, I have a 15 year old son who developed a scar-like infection on his penile skin. The scar seems to be growing but it isn’t painful! I took him to the doctor and he prescribed some antibiotics but there was no difference. I haven’t taken him back yet! What could be the cause of this? Could I buy coconut oil for him? Any suggestions will be highly appreciated!

  10. Andre Uribe says

    Thank you so much for writing this article. Much like your other commenters I was suffering from Balanitis. For me it’s only been about a month but what a terrible month it’s been. I only started today but the coconut oil has offered immediate relief, reduced the swelling of the sensitive tissue allowing me to retract my foreskin easily and I no longer feel the persistent itch of the dry skin. I can walk around in jeans without pain again, and it’s a very good feeling.

  11. Archi says

    Great post! I just wanted to vouch for the amazing effects of this natural cure. I got the damn thing over a year ago after I had masturbated without lubrication and with my hands dirty. My penis head and foreskin were bright red, swollen, and sore immediately after. I then had a rash that lasted weeks. I tried prescribed anti fungal and anti bacterial creams with no real relief.

    I began to experiment with homemade natural remedies and found something that worked. I began to use natural/pure tea tree soap to wash the area and pat it completely dry each time. I then used fresh aloe gel straight from the plant for a few days until the redness and soreness subsided.

    I started to apply organic virgin coconut oil (known for curing infections while lubricating) with a drop or 2 of pure oregano oil (known for being a very potent anti microbial cure but burns like a mother when used undiluted) after every wash. Within a few weeks it all began to feel and look back to normal. After months of anguish, I am back on track and because of this experience I have adopted a very healthy practice of cleansing, maintenance, and lubrication with both hands and penis.

    • Scott says

      Do you still use the coconut oil every day as part of your maintenance/cleaning routine? If not, could you specify what exactly you are using every day. I’m assuming not traditional soaps in the shower?

      Looking forward to kicking my current infection and preventing this from every happening again.

      Thank you, and thanks to you, Jennifer, for this helpful resource.

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