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What is Smegma?

August 23rd, 2018

What is Smegma?


In order to clean ourselves, our bodies produce substances and scents that can be unfamiliar to us. Although this bodily mechanism is normal, when these substances and scents become very unusual, it can be sign that our bodies need some help.

What is Smegma?

Smegma is when oil, dead skin cells, and fluids build up in either the tip of the penis or folds of the vagina. In men, the secretion is found underneath the foreskin. That’s why smegma is commonly found in uncircumcised males.  Smegma has specific characteristics, which help doctors determine a diagnosis. Smegma is usually is a thick consistency, white or whiteness in color, and has a bad odor.

What causes Smegma?

Smegma is solely produced due to lack of hygiene. If the natural fluids created by the body to keep the genital area clean are not properly washed away, a build up can occur. When these fluids accumulate, they can also harden.


If you are uncircumcised, there is a high likelihood that your foreskin can trap the secretion of bacteria and fluids. The foreskin can act as breeding ground for smegma. If trapped in the foreskin, smegma can become painful.

How to Avoid

Due to the high rate of circumcision in the United States, women are more likely to experience smegma. However, if you are uncircumcised and are having issues with excess build up and painful smegma, it could be beneficial to find out your options. Dr. Elist is a male sexual health expert based in Los Angeles with over 30 years of experience helping men create and maintain positive sexual health.

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