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Balanitis Xerotica Obliterans (BXO)

Balanitis Xerotica Obliterans (BXO) is a non-contagious condition that affects the foreskin in uncircumcised males. It causes thin, white, red, wrinkled patches that can lead to tight foreskin. Common symptoms include itching, cracked foreskin, and partly blocked urine flow. It is more common in diabetic patients. Treatment includes steroid creams in early cases or circumcision in the long term. It is crucial to follow up with our specialist if symptoms persist or if there are any lumps or non-healing sores in the area.

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What is Balanitis Xerotica Obliterans (Bxo) Foreskin?

BXO is thin, white, crinkly patches that appear on the Foreskin. It can be troublesome if this is not treated. This causes tight Foreskin in children and adults. This is also known as lichen sclerosus, Csillag’s Disease, or white spot disease.

Who Gets the Bxo?

BXO is a disease that can affect uncircumcised males ranging from young boys to adolescents, men and older adults. However, BXO is rare for children under five years of age. This is the most typical disease of tightening of the Foreskin (BXO phimosis)

What Causes the BXO?

The exact cause of BXO is not known. Sometimes it is associated with diseases in which the body’s immune system attacks normal tissues. Despite the tendency to affect the genital skin, BXO is not an infection – the condition is not contagious, so sexual partners cannot pick it up. Rarely, BXO can occur in relatives. End urination dribbling or minute urinary incontinence is a possible causative factor in the production of BXO. In one study, the association of human papillomavirus and BXO has been reported in children.

What Are the Symptoms of Bxo?

Many patients have none, but itching is the most common symptom of BXO. As a rule, the patches on the foreskin itch can also hurt if the skin breaks down or cracks. In the genital area, the scar-like process can tighten the skin, interfering with sexual intercourse in affected men. BXO can make the Foreskin tight and difficult to retract, cracks and fissures at the Foreskin, and even partly block urine flow.

What Does Bxo Look Like?

On the main areas of the Foreskin, the spots of BXO look like small ivory-coloured, slightly raised areas, which can form white patches. Some have tiny yellowish horny plugs within the pale areas. After a while, the surface of the spots can look like wrinkled tissue paper. The most common sites are the bends of the wrists, the upper trunk, around the breasts, the neck, and the armpits. Sometimes, this causes no symptoms, and they may not even know it exists. The white, thin, fragile areas, sometimes surrounding the Foreskin in a figure of eight patterns, have a wavy surface; their fragility may lead to easy bruising and erosions. Later, the foreskin opening can shrink, leading to pain with intercourse. Less often, BXO can develop in children. It can make a retraction of the Foreskin difficult and interfere with passing water and sexual activities. BXO can be confused with thrush infection.

How Will Bxo Be Diagnosed?

The diagnosis of BXO can usually be made from the typical appearance of the condition. This will be confirmed after examining the foreskin skin (a biopsy) £150 under the microscope.

Can the Bxo Be Cured?

No treatment is likely to reverse the changes of BXO completely, but the symptoms and signs of the disease can usually be well controlled with a steroid application.

How Can Bxo Be Treated?

A variety of treatments are available for BXO. In early cases, your symptoms can be relieved by using steroid creams or ointments. Light moisturisers help to soften and protect the skin. In adults, tightening of the Foreskin will often respond to steroid ointments; if not, a circumcision may be worth considering. In children, circumcision is usually required.

The fragile skin of BXO may be more susceptible than normal skin to infection with Candida yeasts (thrush) or bacteria and may split or even bleed. We will treat these problems if they arise. 

What Can You Do?

Cancer of the penis skin is maybe a little more likely to occur in BXO that has been present for many years than in normal skin. If you have any lumps or non-healing sores in that area, you should ask your doctor to look at them. It is essential to follow up with your GP or Urologist if BXO persists even after circumcision and treatment.

The price for adult circumcision with frenuloplasty is £660, with Glue and biopsy £150 to confirm the diagnosis.

Follow-up usually after four weeks fee of £150

Tight Foreskin: Phimosis in adults and children

No consistently effective treatment has been developed for penile lichen sclerosus (balanitis xerotica obliterans [BXO]); however, the therapies described below have varying degrees of reported success.

  1. Topical and intralesional steroids have been used. Topical steroids can offer a reliable option in managing mild or early BXO limited to the prepuce in boys with minimal scar formation. Patients and their families must have realistic expectations about the success of such treatments.
  2. Circumcision with frenuloplasty in adults and children with BXO
  3. Further treatment, or treatment of circumcised patients, is more challenging. Intraurethral steroids provide efficacious therapy for stricture disease in patients with biopsy ­proven BXO before invasive surgery.
  4. Various surgical techniques can be used to treat more severe penile BXO. Uncircumcised patients usually benefit from therapeutic circumcision. Provide regular follow-up care to observe any changes in problematic areas suggestive of malignancy. Foreskin preputioplasty combined with intralesional triamcinolone might be a tenable alternative against circumcision to treat BXO.
  5. Consider surgical intervention for symptoms or signs of meatal urethral stenosis.
  6. Buccal mucosal graft for BXO ­induced urethral stricture can work.

Consider consultation with our Urologists for the following reasons:

  • Therapeutic circumcision
  • Circumcision for symptomatic phimosis or paraphimosis
  • Significant narrowing or obstruction of the urethral meatus or changes in urinary flow
  • In some cases of male genital lichen sclerosus (BXO), painful erections may limit sexual function
  • A careful clinical examination, history of skin disease, and recent tight Foreskin (phimosis) give a diagnosis of balanitis xerotica obliterans with certainty

Source: http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1074054 (Accessed  on 19 June 2017)

London Circumcision Centre, South Woodford, Leyton Healthcare, Leyton, and Thornhill Clinic Luton are the best circumcision clinics for managing tight Foreskin with penile BXO. 

Pathway for Patients With Phimosis Due to Bxo in Our Clinic

  • Assessment and advice for the option of treatment like steroid cream, circumcision, or further operations   
  • Consultation before the circumcision  
  • Circumcision with Glue because glue circumcision is better than stitches
  • Aftercare advice following the circumcision  
  • To send the biopsy to confirm the diagnosis and exclude any malignancy 
  • Further treatment after six weeks of circumcision  
  • Please make a follow-up £150 appointment at our clinic with a urologist or see your GP after 4-6 weeks of operation.   
  • Long-term follow-up is required if biopsy-proven BXO is found after the circumcision  

Please get in touch with us for specialist and professional opinions.

PS: This information is only for guidance. This is not a replacement for professional medical advice. Please get advice from the specialist by calling the telephone number +447527314081.

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