Inflammation of the penis. In infancy the condition
is usually of the type called ammoniacal
balanitis. In such cases the inflammation is due to irritation caused by ammonia
produced by the action
of bacteria on the urine. Usually it can be prevented by promptly
changing wet diapers.
When balanitis occurs in older children and adults, it may be related
to sugar in the urine and it may therefore be a warning
sign of diabetes mellitus. Other possible causes in adults are an underlying
syphilitic sore (chancre) or cancer of the penis.