Smegma is a white spot found around the genitals of men and women. Although it is normal, smegma can be a medium for the growth of bacteria that are at risk of causing inflammation if not cleaned.
Smegma is produced by the oil glands around the genitals. This substance is formed from a mixture of oil, dead skin cells, and sweat. In men, smegma appears in the folds of the foreskin of the penis, especially the uncircumcised penis. Whereas in women, smegma appears in the folds of the labia or around the clitoris.
Functions and Characteristics of Smegma
Smegma is excreted naturally by the body every day. This substance helps lubricate the genitals and keep the skin around the genitals from being dry or itchy.
Smegma has several characteristics, namely:
- Thick texture
- Smells bad
Smegma generally appears after puberty. However, as we age and the body’s natural oil production decreases, the amount of smegma that comes out will also decrease.
Danger of Smegma Buildup
Smegma is common and harmless. However, if not cleaned, smegma can accumulate, stick, and stick under the foreskin and head of the penis, as well as in the vagina.
Smegma that accumulates can be a place for bacteria to grow and multiply. If that happens, the following conditions will appear:
- Balanitis, which is inflammation and swelling of the head of the penis
- Phimosis, i.e. the foreskin is attached to the head of the penis so that it cannot be retracted
- Clitoral adhesions, i.e. irritation and pain in the clitoris
- Bad odor
How to Clean Smegma
To prevent the accumulation of smegma, the best way to do is to clean the genitals regularly. Here’s how to clean smegma properly and correctly:
- Clean the genitals using warm water and unscented soap at least once a day.
- For a circumcised penis, gently clean all areas around the glans, especially the area that separates the glans from the glans.
- For an uncircumcised penis, gently clean the underside of the foreskin. If any smegma has hardened, apply oil to soften the smegma before cleaning.
- After cleaning, dry the genitals using a clean towel
- Wearing cotton underwear
- Avoid sprinkling powder on the genitals because it can cause irritation
Smegma can also appear on the penises of babies and boys. To overcome this, the child’s penis can be cleaned with warm water every day. However, avoid cleaning the underside of their foreskin.
At their age, the foreskin is still attached to the head of the penis. If pulled too hard, it can cause pain and damage to the child’s penis.
Don’t worry if you have white patches of smegma around your genitals. However, make sure you consult a doctor if smegma appears accompanied by swelling, itching, pain, and anger in the genitals to get the appropriate treatment.