Smegma refers to a thick, cheesy white substance that accumulates beneath the foreskin of the penis and folds of vagina. It is a liquid produce by oil glands to lubricate and keep moist the genital organs. But some times it creates bad odor and bacterial problems. It is more prevalent in uncircumcised males who don’t wash the area properly. Women may also experience this in their vaginas due to poor hygiene.
It’s normal to experience smegma. Moreover, smegma cause no health issues; however, bacteria can develop in it and cause a bad smell.
Further, these bacteria may also cause the penis head to swell and cause pain.
Hence, it is a wise option to clean your genitals properly.
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Sebaceous glands, tiny glands within the penis, and the vagina release smegma that helps help lubricate these regions. It comprises a mixture of oily fats and shed cellulite, skin cells, and water like sweat.
Smegma in men is between the foreskin and the penis’s head. In women, it could accumulate between and around the skin folds and in the area around the clitoris.
However, if you do not wash thoroughly, it may accumulate beneath the foreskin and the penis’s head and inside the vagina.
Smegma is white and opaque in appearance and has an extremely thick consistency. Most people do not produce any smegma before puberty, and smegma is also less prevalent as you age and general production of oil decreases.
For those with a penis, smegma builds up most easily on uncircumcised penises. Further, a layer of skin protects the head of a penis that is not circumcised, referred to as a foreskin. Under it, smegma appears and then builds up.
The foreskin is connected to the penis’s head that covers it entirely as a newborn. As the penis gets longer and the foreskin starts retracting, giving an opening for dirt, grime, and even skin cells to collect between the penis’ head.
Smegma production is necessary for adequate penile health and sexual function. Fresh smegma is smooth and wet, assisting in the lubrication of the foreskin’s movement across the glans during sexual contact. This is essential because without it, the resulting friction will cause dermal (skin) damage, resulting in discomfort and suffering in a few of the body’s sensitive spots.
Along with facilitating sexual function, smegma shields the penises and clitoris by keeping them from sticking to neighboring skin and allowing for flawless foreskin retraction throughout activities like urination.
Smegma is not dangerous, yet it can cause complications. However, bacteria may build up within the smegma, making the penis’s head red and swollen. So, this is what doctors refer to as penis foreskin infection such as posthitis and balanitis. Balanitis can inflate and tighten the foreskin and make it difficult to pull back or retract. Further, it can also lead to phimosis, that makes difficult to urinate and sexual activities on day to day basis.
For female smegma, this buildup could cause the clitoral hood to adhere to the clitoral shaft, which may be uncomfortable or even painful.
Earlier, certain research indicated the connection between smegma and cervical and penile cancer. However, conclusive research established no such relationships.
Further, if there’s any swelling, redness, or a foul odour, consult your physician immediately. Contact your physician if it’s difficult or impossible to remove the penis foreskin.
Smegma isn’t a sign that you’re suffering from an infection or any kind of sexually transmitted diseases. Only hygiene practices influence the smegma cause both in men and women.
The fluids that make up smegma release into your body naturally every day. They assist in lubricating the female genitalia and prevent your skin from becoming dry or itchy. If you don’t clean them often, they could start accumulating.
Not cleaning your genitalia can cause the fluids in your genitalia to accumulate and then harden. It is essential to wash your vagina and penis regularly to prevent accumulation.
If there is no regular cleaning of penis, smegma could accumulate and be odorous, cause infection, or hinder foreskin movements.
For infants and young boys:
If the foreskin removal is too early, it can result in bleeding, pain and tears. Further, infants and young children’s foreskin mustn’t be pulled too soon.
Men and boys with a retractable foreskin must follow the following steps while cleaning the penis for smegma treatment:
Be sure to talk to an experienced doctor or pediatrician when you have difficulty pulling the skin back. Don’t force the foreskin to retract and back, as it could lead to long-term and immediate problems.
Women and girls should perform the following measures while washing the vulva to eliminate smegma:
Gently cleanse the vulva with light soap and warm water.
Avoid perfumed cleansers, powders, and sprays.
Dry with a gentle towel.
With babies, it is advisable to check with a doctor about their suggestions on hygiene measures, including control of smegma.
While smegma is common, it may cause difficulties if it begins to accumulate. Adopting excellent genital hygiene, as indicated above, is crucial for both men and women.
Women may also wish to take the following preventative steps:
Check with your doctor if the accumulation does not resolve or if it worsens and you get other symptoms. Additionally, see your physician if cleansing your genitalia does not result in the removal of the thick fluid accumulation. What you seem to be smegma may be indications of another sickness or ailment.
Smegma is prevalent in both men and women and is related to the accumulation of skin cells, oil production, and moisture. Further, regular genital cleanliness may help avoid or minimize smegma formation in both sexes.
While it is permissible for uncircumcised males and teen boys to retract their foreskin, it is not advisable for newborns and younger boys. That’s because the foreskin might not have detached from the glans.
Forcibly tugging down the foreskin may lead to significant discomfort, blood, skin tears, and even scars. Parents and caregivers should seek information on genital cleanliness from their child’s doctor.
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