Read all about Smegma

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What is smegma?


At the head of the penis there are glands producing fluid, also called smegma, which allows the foreskin to move over the head of the penis easily. When the head of the penis isn't regularly cleaned, this fluid accumulate and expel an unpleasent odor. This can be easily remedied through good personal hygiene.


What are symptoms of smegma?


  • Unpleasent odor of the head of the penis
  • White discharge underneatht the foreskin
  • Smegma is most common in young boys and older men

Is smegma serious and should I see a doctor?


Smegma isn't harmful and can be easily remedied through good personal hygiene. In general it isn't necessary to contact a doctor.

Contact a doctor:

  • When it hurts to retract the foreskin
  • When the complaints persist despite thorough personal hygiene


What can I do about smegma myself?


  • Good personal hygiene is most important with smegma:
    • When cleaning the head of the penis retract the foreskin fully
    • Clean the penis with clean water and clean hands
    • Don't use any soap when cleaning the head of the penis
    • Afterwards use a clean towel and put on clean underwear


    How does smegma affect my body?


    The head of the people has glands under the foreskin that produce fluid, smegma, to allow the foreskin to move over the head of the penis easily. When the head of the penis isn't regularly cleaned, the smegma can start to smell and form white lumpy discharge. It has been suggested that smegma can contribute to developing cancer when it sits for a long time, but this has never been shown conclusively and as of yet there is no reason to think it does.

    Smegma is most frequent among young boys and older men. With young boys it's important they learn at a young age what is important about personal hygiene when it comes to their genitalia. When the head of the penis is clean regularly and thoroughly with water, it is just as hygienic as circumcision. With older men accumulation of smegma is frequently caused by self neglect. Because good personal hygiene of genitalia is becoming more and more normal, less and less people have complaints of accumulation of smegma.


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