Genital Hygiene in Males and Females: What's Smegma?

Smegma is the gathering of dead skin cells, oils and other bodily fluids on the tip of the penis in males or the folds of the vagina in females.

The buildup grows eventually over time. If not treated, it can cause serious side effects.

Smegma accumilation is not a result of a sexually transmitted infection. It is all about the genital hygiene of an individual. To avoid Smegma accumilation, one needs to maintain cleanliness taking a regular bath and wearing clean clothing.

Smegma Accumilation Treatment in Females

The occurrence of smegma in women can result in an unpleasant odor. In females, smegma collects in the labia around the clitoris.

The best way to control smegma is through proper personal genital hygiene. The following steps are essential in cleaning smegma in females;

•    Using your two fingers positioned in a V-shape, gently pull back the vaginal folds.

•    Clean the folds using warm water, and if need be, use a gentle soap. Prevent soap from getting inside the vaginal opening.

•    Rinse the area thoroughly and carefully

•    Softly pat the area dry.

Avoid wearing very tight pants as they help the promote collection of smegma. Put on underwear made of breathable materials like cotton.

In case of abnormal discharge with unfriendly odor, consider visiting a doctor for further assessment. Also, see the doctor in case of irritation and itching effect around your genitals.

Smegma Treatment in Males

One of the simplest ways to remove smegma is through adapting a strict personal genital hygiene program.

Uncircumcised males are more prone to smegma than their circumcised counterparts. They should, therefore, ensure they clean their genitals thoroughly— wash the entire surface and under the penis foreskin.

The body produces lubricants to aid the foreskin to retract. These lubricants combine with dead body cells, natural oils, and dirt and collect under the foreskin.

It is advisable to clean the buildupwith warm water. The following points will help a person in the cleaning the penis to remove smegma;

•    Softly pull back your foreskin and check the status of smegma. You should check whether smegma under the foreskin has hardened, to prevent tear and pain when removing it.

•     Use a light soap and warm water to clean the area usually covered by the foreskin. Wash softly and gently to avoid hurting yourself. In case smegma buildup has hardened, apply appropriate rubbing oil before cleaning to help loosen up the accumulation.

•    Rinse all the soap thoroughly. Using a dry towel, wipe the area dry.

•    Pull the foreskin back over to its position.

•    Practice this daily to do away with smegma on your penis.

N/B:  Avoid scrubbing the smegma off with objects because you don't want to harm to your penis. 

In case the smegma is not healing after cleaning correctly, it's good to see a doctor. Also, seek professional assistance if the penis swells up or turns red. It could be another severe infection that needs medical attention.
Good Genital Hygiene Practices in Young Uncircumcised Boys

Young boys also experience smegma buildup as in adults. In children, smegma looks like white dots or pearls under the foreskin.

One should watch out for their sons (five years and below). The foreskin does not fully retract in babies; hence trying to pull it back would end up hurting the child.

Parents and guardians should handle children's penis with care; this is to prevent injury or to hurt them. 

When cleaning a young boy's genitals, gently sponge them with warm water and soap.  Avoid using materials that may cause injury to the penis of the young boy.

When retraction occurs in the small boy's penis, you can start cleaning under the foreskin to reduce smegma. As he grows, teach him good genital hygiene practices so that he can be cleaning it regularly.

Teaching a child how to deal with smegma enables them to come up with appropriate personal genital hygiene habits. The following are steps in cleaning smegma from a child;

•    Let older boys pull back the foreskin away from the end of the penis for themselves. Help the young one is doing this.

•    Sponge gently the area using warm water and mild soap. Avoid using unsuitable materials since this area is sensitive.

•    Rinse all the soap and dry the area using a soft cloth.

•    Pull back the foreskin back gently.

Final Words

The best preventive practice against Smegma accumilation is maintaining proper personal genital hygiene. Practice cleaning your genitals daily and avoid using irritating soaps in the area. Females should avoid using vaginal rinses, which can lead to vaginal infections.