Smegma is a sebaceous, yellowish-white mass that accumulates under the penile foreskin. Read more here!


The smegma consists of the secretions of sebaceous glands in the genital area and shed epithelial cells of the skin. In boys and men, it settles under the foreskin as a white-yellowish, cheese-like layer; In girls and women, it can accumulate between the labia. Read everything important about smegma: composition, function and possible health problems!

What is Smegma?

Smegma is a sebaceous, yellowish-white mass between the penile glans (glans penis) and the foreskin. It is also called foreskin tallow and consists of secretions of the sebaceous glands, which are located in the skin of the glans, as well as shed epithelial cells of the inside of the foreskin (prepuce).

Smegma also forms in the woman - it settles between the inner and outer labia.

The cheese-like mass should be removed on a regular basis because germs can easily multiply in it. The typical bacterial species found there is the Mycobacterium smegmatis.

What is the function of smegma?

The smegma - the word derives from the Greek word for soap - forms a protective film for the glans. However, this film must be removed with the daily cleaning to remove bacterial growth from the breeding ground.

Where is the smegma?

Smegma forms in boys and men under the foreskin, where it settles in the skin fold. In girls and women it can accumulate between the labia.

What problems can the smegma cause?

If the smgema is not removed regularly (lack of intimate hygiene) or can not be sufficiently removed (for example, if the foreskin is too tight, which can not be sufficiently pulled back), the bacteria multiply in the sebaceous mass. As a result, inflammation or infection may occur. It also creates an unpleasant smell.

If the cheese-like mass is not removed for a long time, there are also encrustations, which form stones (smegmolithen) with urinary salts.

Smegma is said to promote the formation of tumors on the penis (such as penile cancer).

Circumcision can cause men to stop smegma prevent. The foreskin is partially or completely removed.

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