Any man who’s uncircumcised is knowledgeable about the tacky, tacky, yellowish or white substance that tends to accumulate underneath the foreskin. This pasty, often smelly material – known commonly as smegma — is generally considered unpleasant and dirty. On the other hand, smegma does, in fact, play an essential role in penis health, so it’s well worth learning more about it and understanding its purpose before dismissing it as a source of disgust and humiliation.

What’s smegma?

The lining of the foreskin secretes a mucousy material that functions as a lubricant; it’s analogous to the tears which lubricate the eyes and block the uterus from sticking to their face. In precisely the exact same fashion, this mucousy fluid allows the foreskin and glans to slide over each other and protects the glans from aggravation. As the foreskin and glans rub together, dead skin cells are shed; due to the presence of the foreskin, they don’t fall away, but rather combine with the mucous – as well as perspiration and other body fluids – to form the glue which is called smegma.

Notwithstanding its image as filthy, smegma is in fact harmless; in actuality, it contains antibacterial properties which could help protect the penile tissue. In babies, it is particularly important, as it creates a barrier that protects the delicate glans from the damaging effects of urine. On the other hand, while it serves a valuable purpose, smegma may also cause problems if it’s allowed to accumulate underneath the foreskin; thus, adequate hygiene measures are required to prevent these from happening.

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  • When smegma gets thick, dry and waxy, it may actually cause the foreskin to abide by the glans, as opposed to letting them slide over each other naturally. When the foreskin can’t be retracted over the glans – a condition called phimosis – guys may experience discomfort or even pain during intercourse.
  • Trapped smegma also provides a haven for germs. When these microorganisms take up residence under the foreskin, their existence can activate an immune system reaction, resulting in swelling of the foreskin, pain, redness and even a smelly discharge. This problem is called balanitis, and it is responsible for around 1 in 10 visits to gender clinics or urologists by guys.
  • While less severe than phimosis or balanitis, built-up smegma can lead to a distinctive, foul odor which could be a substantial source of embarrassment. Removing the smegma frequently can lower this unpleasant, fishy odor. On the other hand, it’s necessary to point out that the sebaceous glands which produce the mucousy oil really create a fishy odor by themselves.

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This odor can be heightened by the hormones that are released during intercourse; many men report that they detect a strong, fishy odor immediately after sex or masturbation. This isn’t associated with smegma, and it isn’t easily washed away. Along with these problems, there’s a widespread belief that the presence of smegma can lead to cancer.

Researchers have, in fact, found a connection between smegma and penile cancernonetheless, it’s thought that the smegma itself doesn’t cause cancer. Rather, it’s the irritation that occurs when the area under the foreskin isn’t cleaned carefully that’s responsible for the cellular changes that may result in cancerous tumors. So as to prevent issues that could occur when smegma is permitted to accumulate under the foreskin, good hygiene measures are essential.


The penis should be washed in warm water daily. The foreskin should be gently retracted (never pressured ) to expose the glans, and any smegma that’s present should be wiped away with the finger tips. Using very hot water, or of strong soaps or shower gels, isn’t recommended, since these may deplete the body of its natural lubricating oils; the detergents in normal soaps may lead to irritation. After washing, the skin should be dried carefully and the foreskin rolled back into position. Some men decide to use deodorants or scents to take care of odors. However, this isn’t a fantastic idea, as again, the chemicals in these products may lead to irritation. On the other hand, use of a fantastic penis health cream which comprises vitamin A – a natural antibacterial ingredient – can help control odors in addition to soften and strengthen the skin. A product such as this can be applied daily to enhance overall penis health.