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Noticed cheese-like substance down there? It’s probably smegma and here’s what you need to know

Smegma is a very common condition in the human body. A venereologist, Dr Niveditha Manokaran talks about how to deal with it.
Dermatologist Dr Niveditha Manokaran used her Instagram account to educate us about the condition.
Aayushi Gupta Updated: 23 Feb 2021, 10:54 am IST
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Many of you have probably never heard of the term ‘smegma’ but have probably experienced it because it is so common! Have you noticed a cheese-like substance around your genitals? If the answer is ‘yes’, then you’ve probably had smegma. It is the thick and whitish substance found in the genital area of both males and females.

The problem might be common but it is definitely not discussed commonly. Hence, we decided to ask an expert all about it in order to spread more awareness about the condition.

Dr Niveditha Manokaran is a dermatologist and venereologist from India who recently posted about smegma on her Instagram account.

In her post, she said, “SMEGMA! Cheesy stuff that appears in your genitals, that recurs even after cleaning, and is not actually causing any symptoms? Yes, that’s smegma, and that’s normal.”

Dr Niveditha went on to explain what smegma is all about:

  • It is a combination of dead skin cells, sebum, and moisture.
  • It occurs in both men and women.
  • In females, it accumulates around the clitoris and in the folds of the labia minora.
  • In males, smegma collects under the foreskin. 


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Niveditha Manokaran (@dr_nive_untaboos)

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She said that the primary function of smegma is moistening and lubricating the space where it occurs. 

So, what’s with the strong odour down there?

Well, when too much smegma builds up because you sweat or lack of washing the genital area, the smelly white chunks can cause bacteria to grow. This leads to an unpleasant smell. What you need to keep in mind is that it isn’t an infection and is normal, informed the doctor.

It isn’t a health issue and nothing to worry about! However, you should keep your vaginal area clean in order to minimise the risk of bacterial growth. Dr Niveditha provides expert advice on how to go about it through her Instagram post:

How to clean smegma in labia owners?
  • Use a mild soap lather and warm water to gently wash between the labia.
  • Lift the clitoral hood and try to clean that area too.
  • Rinse off and pat dry after the shower.
How to clean smegma in penis owners?
  • Gently pull back your foreskin.
  • Use mild soap and warm water to wash the area that’s usually covered by your foreskin.
  • Thoroughly rinse off all the soap and then gently pat the area dry.
  • Pull your foreskin back over the tip of your penis.
  • Repeat this daily until the smegma disappears.

So, ladies, smegma is nothing to worry about but a little care can go a long way in steering clear of it!

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About the Author

Aayushi Gupta is a health writer with a special interest in trends related to diet, fitness, beauty and intimate health. With around 2 years of experience in the wellness industry, she is connected to leading experts and doctors to provide our readers with factually correct information. ...Read More

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