While hydrocortisone is commonly used for the treatment of balanitis (inflammation of the penis head or 'glands penis'), it can sometimes make your symptoms worse. This may be what you are experiencing, especially since not using the cream has helped.


The product you were prescribed is a combination of miconazole and hydrocortisone. Miconazole is a topical anti-fungal while hydrocortisone is a topical corticosteroid, which helps to reduce inflammation.


While hydrocortisone may temporary relieve the pain and inflammation from balanitis, it is often not a good choice for long term use for numerous reasons:

  • Topical steroids can locally affect your immune system and they are well known for causing opportunistic infections (e.g. fungal and bacterial). In other words, steroids can increase the time it takes to recover from an infection and may even be the cause of one.


  • Steroids generally should not be applied to thin skin, mucous membranes or sensitive areas of the body. These areas absorb steroids at an exponentially higher rate than the skin on other parts of your body. This absorption can lead not only to further thinning of the skin (which can be extremely painful on areas such as the penis) but also to adrenal function suppression. In addition, thinned skin on the penis due to topical steroid use will make it extremely sensitive to any irritant or minor contact.


Due to the issues above, hydrocortisone isn't generally recommend or should only be used for very short periods of time. As mentioned in your inquiry, the discontinuation of the medication appears to have helped.


In regard to further treatment, Vaseline can certainly help with the irritation symptoms as it is a good skin protectant. I would advise you reach out to your doctor again as well if the symptoms don't continually get better. You could still have the underlying condition that caused the balanitis in the first place. It is possible that you need an antifungal or an antibiotic medicaton to appropriately treat an infection. Both antifungals and antibiotics are available without added hydrocortisone.