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August 1990

An Argument for Circumcision: Prevention of Balanitis in the Adult

Author Affiliations

From the Dermatology and Surgical Services, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Long Beach, Calif, and the Department of Dermatology, University of California, Irvine. Dr Hunter is now with the Department of Internal Medicine, Marshfield (Wis) Clinic.

Arch Dermatol. 1990;126(8):1046-1047. doi:10.1001/archderm.1990.01670320070011

• A cross-sectional study and a retrospective study were performed to determine the frequency of balanitis in a randomly selected group of dermatology patients. A total of 398 subjects were included in the cross-sectional study, 213 (53.5%) of whom had been circumcised. Balanitis was diagnosed in 2.3% of circumcised men and in 12.5% of uncircumcised men. In patients with diabetes mellitus, balanitis occurred with a prevalence of 34.8% in the uncircumcised population, compared with 0% in the circumcised population. Balanitis did occur with increased frequency in the diabetic population (16%), regardless of circumcision status, compared with the nondiabetic population (5.8%). Of 63 circumcisions performed at our institution between 1987 and 1989, 28.6% were for the treatment of balanitis; 44.4%, for phimosis (which was probably induced by chronic balanitis); 19%, in preparation for placement of penile prostheses; and 8%, for miscellaneous reasons. No complications of circumcision were reported. In this group of patients, balanitis was more frequent in diabetic than in nondiabetic uncircumcised men (50% vs 15.4%).

(Arch Dermatol. 1990;126:1046-1047)

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