What Does Smegma Look and Smell Like?
Smegma is an oily fluid produced by sebaceous (oil) glands located around the vaginal area. It has an opaque, white tint and a thick substance. Prior to puberty, most people do not create much smegma. Smegma becomes less prevalent as people age and total oil output diminishes.
Smegma has a characteristic odor that many people find unpleasant. Bacteria, which are naturally found on the skin, can proliferate in smegma and cause it to stink. The smegma and its odour should be removed by washing the affected region with soap and water.
Smegma collects more easily on uncircumcised penises in those who have a penis. The head of an uncircumcised penis is protected by a layer of skin known as the foreskin, under which smegma forms and grows.
The foreskin is securely linked to the head of the penis in an infant, totally covering and protecting it. The foreskin naturally retracts as the penis lengthens, allowing dirt, filth, and skin cells to build between it and the head of the penis.
What Causes Smegma?
Some smegma is a typical reaction to the mingling of all the oils, dead skin cells, perspiration, and other bodily fluids generated in and around the genitals. In truth, smegma has a purpose: it provides lubrication. For example, smegma allows for foreskin mobility during intercourse. Friction and discomfort can occur in the absence of smegma.
If you don’t clean your genitals on a regular basis, smegma can accumulate to the point that it stinks.
How to Prevent Smegma
Cleaning the genitals with warm water and mild soap during baths or showers is an important part of preventing smegma accumulation. If smegma is an issue, using breathable underwear, such as cotton, may assist.
Developing the practice of routinely inspecting the genitals for excess smegma and indicators of probable infection or other issues can help to avoid smegma from becoming a problem. This is especially crucial for persons who sweat a lot, since this might lead to more smegma and make smegma accumulation easier.
How to Clean Smegma
Personal hygiene is essential for avoiding and treating smegma accumulation.
To eliminate smegma from the labia, use water and a light soap.
Begin by softly pushing the outer labia back. Then, rub your hands or a washcloth with mild soap and gently massage it into your skin to clean it. The clitoral hood can be treated similarly.
Take cautious not to get soap within the vagina. The vagina is self-cleaning, therefore unlike the vulva, which must be cleansed with soap and water, the vagina does not. Getting soap within the vagina can actually disrupt the pH balance, causing discomfort and even infections.
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Possible Health Complications Of SmegmaWhile smegma is not a life-threatening condition, the following problems are possible:
Clitoral AdhesionWhen smegma accumulates in females, it adheres to the clitoris. This causes the clitoral hood to cling to the shaft, causing discomfort and clitoral adhesion.
BalanitisBalanitis is an inflammation of the penile tip. This disease arises as a result of smegma accumulation on the tip. Swelling, discomfort, redness, and inflammation may result.
How to Get Rid of Smegma
Gently clean all the regions around the head of the penis, especially along the ridge that divides the head from the shaft, for someone with a circumcised penis. An uncircumcised penis takes a little extra care. Warm soapy water should be used to clean behind the foreskin once or twice a day. Avoid scraping the foreskin. If the penis seems infected or red, visit a healthcare practitioner.
Pull back the outer lips of the vulva to clean the region under the clitoral hood for someone who has a vagina. To avoid inflammation, avoid using highly scented soaps. Consult a doctor if you notice any lumps, irritation, or changes in your vaginal discharge.
Smegma and Health
Bacteria can accumulate in the smegma and cause the head of the penis to become red and swollen, a condition known as balanitis. Balanitis can stiffen the foreskin, making it difficult to draw back or retract. Contact your doctor right away if you notice any redness, swelling, or a foul odor. Call your doctor if retracting the foreskin is difficult or impossible.
Experts used to believe that the chemicals in smegma caused penile cancer. They now know this isn’t true, although the irritation caused by smegma may increase the likelihood of developing this malignancy. Nonetheless, this malignancy is uncommon in both circumcised and uncircumcised males.