Are you worried about the white cheesy stuff that always appears from nowhere under your foreskin? Well, that’s Smegma, a white substance that is produced by the penis glands. You may still have one question on your mind, is Smegma bad? The answer is simple, “NO”. Kick away your worries, because smegma is perfectly natural and totally harmless.
What is Smegma?
Smegma is a combination of debris of exfoliated dead mucosal cells, moisture and adnexal secretions that accumulate under the foreskin of the uncircumcised individual, especially if hygiene is poor. Smegma is commonly seen in young adults and older man but can accumulate in both male and females. In males, foreskin is common area while in female clitoris and the folds of labia minora are common area for smegma collection.
Some previous studies have suggested that smegma can contribute to developing penile cancer, and in the past some experts were concerned that smegma may also contain compounds that can cause cancer, but this has never been proven. Most experts now believe that smegma itself probably doesn’t cause penile cancer, but it can irritate and inflame the penis, which may increase the risk of cancer. It may also make it harder to see very early cancers.
Freshly formed smegma in males is odorless and helps keep the glans moist and facilitates movement of foreskin and glans by acting as a lubricant. However, if left un-cleaned for several days, chemical changes in the smegma along with normal harmless skin bacteria can change the odor to unpleasant, unhealthy, and foul-smelling. In addition, foreign material may come in contact with the smegma causing irritation and co-infection with other bacteria and fungus can occur.
Excess bad odor even if you are washing regularly may indicate yeast or fungal infection that may need special medical attention. You may try some over the counter topical anti-fungal medications and if that doesn’t work visit the dermatologist straightway.
In healthy genitals smegma deposit can be removed easily by gently pulling back the foreskin and cleaning with warm water. Special attention should be given when washing the area; always avoid scented soaps and other harsh chemicals, in most cases plain warm water is sufficient. Make sure to cover the hidden pockets between foreskin and glans. Make sure to gently pat dry after cleaning.