Smegma. It’s an unappealing name for an unappealing male organ health issue. Guys have heard of it, but many don’t really know what it is. In the United States, that’s not surprising, for smegma is really only an issue for guys with an intact male organ. (However, it should be noted that women can also produce smegma, so a circumcised man could theoretically have encountered it with a female partner.) Therefore, some basic information on smegma follows.
What is it, exactly?
When a man talks about smegma on his manhood, he is generally referring to a foul-smelling, pale white or yellowish substance that is rather thick and clumpy. It is sometimes referred to as “head cheese” because it does have something of a cheese-like density. Although there may be other ingredients in it, most of smegma is made up of dead skin cells and oily secretions from the sebaceous glands.
However, that physical description of smegma is not entirely accurate. In its initial state, the dead skin cells and oily secretions are not thickened and clumpy. Instead, they are more fluid-like, and in fact before it thickens, smegma is actually an effective natural lubricant. It also helps the prepuce to retract more smoothly and easily. (The word smegma, by the way, is derived from a Greek word that means soap.)
Intact male organ
It was mentioned that smegma in males is associated only with those with an intact male organ. That is because the dead skin cells involved tend to come from the prepuce. That’s not to say that a circumcised man has no dead skin cells, of course; everybody does, as skin cells are constantly dying and being replaced with new skin cells. But with an intact male organ, often the dead skin cells get trapped beneath the prepuce. Over time, if they are not removed, they mix with the oily secretions and eventually thicken into what is typically what is meant by the word smegma.
As mentioned, before it thickens, smegma is a fine natural lubricant. In its early form, it is sterile and odorless and can make penetration much easier. However, after this early-stage form, it is no longer sterile. Trapped between the prepuce and the member, it is in a very warm, very moist environment – which is just the circumstances for bacteria to grow. This can result in balanitis (in which the head of the member becomes inflamed) or balanoposthitis (in which the prepuce itself becomes inflamed), both of which can be painful conditions.
In order to avoid smegma becoming a male organ health issue, intact men need to be sure to thoroughly clean the manhood and beneath the prepuce regularly. For most men with an intact male organ, this means once a day; however, men with skin that is typically oilier than most may need to wash more often. It is very important to include cleaning underneath the prepuce, not just the outer surface. Avoid using harsh soaps or cleansers, which may irritate the manhood. It’s also important to be gentle when pulling back and washing under the prepuce, in order to avoid any potential damage.
Although practicing proper hygiene to prevent or get rid of smegma is important at almost any age, it is most important starting in puberty and continuing through middle age. Smegma production does tend to start decreasing the older a man gets.
Smegma can be an issue for the intact male organ, but every member has health issues to attend to. That’s why daily application of a superior male organ health oil (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil, which is clinically proven mild and safe for skin) is valuable. Seek out an oil that contains important male organ health vitamins like A, B5, C, D, and E. Also look at ingredients such as alpha lipoic acid, an antioxidant that strengthens male organ skin by fighting oxidative stress.
Visit http://www.menshealthfirst.com for additional information on most common male organ health issues, tips on improving manhood sensitivity, and what to do to maintain a healthy member. John Dugan is a professional writer who specializes in men’s health issues and is an ongoing contributing writer to numerous websites.