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Skin Care and Diseases

BXO -- follow up

10/21/2005

Question:

I am the 30 year old male who wrote in a few days ago concerned that I might have Balanitis Xerotica Obliterans on my penis. Subsequent to that post I went to see a dermatologist who concluded that I probably did not have BXO and she would not have even considered the possibility if I didn`t raise it. Rather, the white sheen was probably just the reflection off of skin that was healing after a bacterial or yeast infection. But, she said I should return in 8 weeks and, if the discoloration persists, I may have to undergo a biopsy to rule out BXO. She acknowledged it would be somehwat painful. What exactly does a biopsy of the penis involve? If the discoloration persists, what is the disadvantage of just starting a trial of steroids without a biopsy?

Answer:

I am glad that you have placed your care under a qualified dermatologist.  I am sure that that person will establish the right diagnosis and solve the issue.  Small biopsies, usually a 2-3 mm in diameter punch and a small stitch is placed to close it in some situations, and in others it is allowed to close secondarily.  You should discuss that with your dermatologist to make the right decision for you. 

Good luck!

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Response by:

Charles L Heaton, MD
Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati