Let’s be honest: even the word ‘smegma’ is a little off-putting. Smegma is the natural accumulation of dead skin cells and fluids secreted by the sebaceous glands in the foreskin. This stuff builds up in the area between the foreskin and the glans, and eventually results in a cheesy, white substance that can smell rather unpleasant. Removing this buildup on a regular basis is an integral part of excellent penis care .

The good news is that smegma is entirely natural and can be controlled quite easily if a man knows how to take care of the problem. So without further ado, here’s the ultimate smegma treatment for the man who worries about all that clumpy white buildup.

1. Hop in the shower.A daily shower is the first line of defense against smegma. Be sure to use a very mild cleanser that is good for delicate penis skin. Some men find that using a simple bar soap, such as Ivory or Dial, is just fine; others need something more sensitive. Either way, a good cleanser and a washcloth will be necessities.

2. Retract the foreskin. The only way to truly clean out smegma is to pull back the foreskin, exposing the glans. Smegma collects in this area, but especially in the area right underneath the glans. (Remember: If there is any problem with retracting the foreskin, this might be a sign of a serious condition that goes well beyond smegma problems, and warrants a visit to the doctor.)

3. Thoroughly clean the area. Using the washcloth and cleanser, clean the area underneath the foreskin, paying close attention to every dip and curve. Give the area underneath the glans some special care to ensure the buildup is removed. Remember that simply using water or cleanser alone is not enough. Smegma can be sticky and adhere to the skin, so using a washcloth to remove it is necessary - it provides enough roughness and friction to loosen the dead skin cells and get rid of the other substances that cause the buildup.

4. Dry off very well. When the shower is done, it’s time to dry things out. This is especially important for men who are intact, as the area beneath the foreskin can retain some moisture after the shower, which can then add to the smegma problem. Retract the foreskin again after the shower and dry the area that was just cleaned so well.

One of the keys to ensuring this smegma treatment really works is by getting a daily shower - and always make a point of cleaning the smegma away while under the cascade of water. Letting it go for even a day or two can lead to serious penis odor, as well as redness and itching. Serious smegma problems can even lead to infections, which is something no man wants to see happening down there.

A man who has trouble retracting his foreskin should definitely see a doctor about the problem. This condition, known as phimosis or paraphimosis, makes it really difficult to get to the smegma buildup. Besides that, a foreskin too tight to retract can lead to painful erections or blood flow problems, as well as increase the possibility of infection and other nasty problems.

After cleaning the skin very well and removing every trace of smegma, a man can help ensure continuing penis health by using a top-notch penis health crème (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil, which is clinically proven mild and safe for skin). Not only do the great vitamins and nutrients in the crème help with blood flow and penis skin sensitivity, the simple act of applying the crème can ensure a man double-checks the smegma situation. A good crème should contain vitamins like A, C, and D, as well as hydrators like vitamin E and Shea butter, all of which work to keep penis skin supple and soothed.