The human body is pretty masterful at cleaning itself, isn’t it? Think of all the daily detoxifying processes that happen naturally - the kidneys, bowels, sweat glands, lungs, and liver all work together to rid the body of unpleasant or unhealthy waste materials. Sometimes, all that cleaning can result in a substance that doesn’t go away on its own. Smegma is one such infamous materials found in males. This cheesy substance is an accumulation of oil, dead skin cells, and other bodily fluids. It’s located on the penis, usually under the foreskin. If not cleaned regularly and thoroughly, smegma symptoms can become annoying or even painful. Thankfully, it can be cleared up pretty easily at home with a few practical tips.

Smegma Symptoms

Smegma is one of those issues that doesn't really show a lot of variances. There are a few common smegma symptoms, which include the following:

- An unpleasant odor radiating from the penis. It will often have a sweaty, sour fragrance.

- White and thick texture with a cheese-like consistency. Nope, it’s not gouda. The texture and smell of the buildup got the name "dick cheese" for just this reason.

- Urination turns fiery and throbbing. Some men experience a sensation of burning and pain when they urinate, and they tend to have a greater urge to urinate frequently.

- Irritation. When smegma is to blame, the penis can get red, irritated, and sore.

Men who want to be certain they have smegma should see a medical professional. Once diagnosed, follow doctor’s orders to clean things up.

Smegma Causes

So what causes smegma? When a man doesn't properly and thoroughly wash his penis (or his body, for that matter), sweat, dead skin cells and oils can accumulate around the head, especially in men with an intact foreskin. In simplest terms, lack of a properly executed hygiene ritual will lead to smegma. Men who don't wash for excessive periods of time are prone to an overaccumulation of this stinky material.

While not a cause of smegma, not being circumcised puts a man at higher risk for having it, simply because under the foreskin is the most common place for smegma to reside. Some men choose to have their foreskin removed as a result.

Treating Smegma

How do you treat smegma? Adopt a thorough daily hygiene plan. That means properly cleaning the penis, including around and under the foreskin. Believe it or not, cleaning the area is the easiest way to remove smegma.

Here’s a quick guide to cleaning the penis to prevent smegma and smegma symptoms:

1) Gently retract the foreskin. If the smegma has hardened, it may not be possible to pull it all the way back. Don’t force it! It can cause pain and tear the skin, and that may lead to infection.

2) Use a gentle cleanser and warm water to wash the area that’s typically covered by the foreskin. Be gentle but thorough. If the smegma has hardened, rub some oil on it first to loosen it up.

3) Rinse thoroughly and pat dry.

4) Moisturize the area with a specially formulated penis health crème (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil, which has been clinically proven safe and mild for skin) daily. Choose a cream that has a natural moisturizing base like Shea butter and vitamin E. Then add vitamins A, B, C, and D for their skin-soothing and cell regeneration properties.

5) Repeat daily until the smegma disappears and continue to follow this new process to prevent smegma.

If the smegma isn’t better after a solid week of thorough cleaning, or if it’s getting worse, see a doctor for a clear diagnosis. Otherwise, hit the showers!