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Why You Have to Clean Your Smegma and What Is It?

Being a man is great. Every day of life is an adventure waiting to happen, but even though we love being men, there are some downsides. A few issues have plagued us since the dawn of time, and for some reason it’s socially unacceptable to talk about them. Morning wood is a serious thing! How are you supposed to be expected to hop out of bed and function with a kickstand dragging you down?! 

Even worse than morning wood is a concept so taboo, so dirty, that its name is barred from polite society. Obviously, we’re talking about smegma. Some of you know what we’re talking about. Others had to look it up after a game of Card Against Humanity. Well, we’re about to destroy the smegma stigma. We’re going to discuss smegma in full detail. At times, you’re going to nod along in understanding. At others, you might wince in horror. Either way, this is knowledge you need.

Getting Technical

If you’ve ever heard the term “from unda cheese,” then you might have an idea of what smegma is. It’s the light-colored gunk that builds up under a guy’s foreskin. If we get technical, there’s a little more going on. The penis naturally secretes a lubricant to make sexy time work a little better. When this secretion mixes with skin cells, skin oils and good old fashioned moisture, it turns into smegma. The cocktail tends to be white in color, and as it builds up, it solidifies into something pretty cheese-like in consistency. It can also smell foul beyond description.

So, when we talk about smegma, we’re typically referring to the buildup of this grossness. What’s important to understand is that smegma can technically form under any folded skin, but it’s way more prominent underneath the foreskin (and in certain lady parts, but we’re focusing on the men today). So, for those of you who have been snipped, this will be more educational than vital. Anyone still sporting a dick helmet should pay close attention.

The Medical Case 

Smegma is unpleasant. That should be enough motivation to wash your dick, but we all know better. So, we’ll discuss the medical implications of the problem. At the base level, smegma is harmless. It’s not causing you to rot. It’s not developing cancer cells. It’s a natural secretion that exists for a reason. That said, smegma build up can lead to medical complications, and it’s worth learning all about them. Here’s a spoiler alert, bacteria tends to play a pretty big role in these issues. Washing your dick doesn’t just get rid of the smegma; it also combats the bacteria that are the bigger issue. 

Swollen Penis

When people encourage you to get swole, this is not what they mean. Smegma buildup can lead to irritation that causes inflammation of the penis. This inflammation causes swelling, and while a lot of you wish your stuff was a little bigger, this is the wrong way to go about it. This is the painful kind of swelling. Remember the last time you jammed your finger and it got a little big? Imagine that on your dick. It’s not a good time. 

Ultimately, a smegma-related swollen penis can come from a number of complications. It can include infection, general irritation and more specific medical conditions. We’re about to cover all of it, so just remember that painful swelling is a common side-effect with all of these issues. 

why you have to clean your smegma and what is it?


It should not surprise you that bacteria feed on your smegma. When left alone, it’s usually the bacteria that cause it to develop that uniquely horrifying stench. Since bacteria feed on smegma, letting it fester is clearly a bad idea. As the bacteria grow, they can lead to skin infections. On your penis. Take that seriously. A skin infection down there won’t just hurt. It’ll pretty much ruin your life until you get it treated. 

Even worse, smegma builds up alarmingly close to your peep hole. It’s not uncommon for excess bacteria to make their way down the tunnel and wreak havoc on your urinary tract. In fact, smegma can be the root cause of some pretty serious UTIs. If you’ve never experienced the joys of a UTI for yourself, take our word for it. This will kill your sex life, and in bad cases, it’ll leave you blinded with pain. All of this is easily avoided by cleaning your dick. We’ll go into detail on that in a little while, but until then, let us emphasize the importance of basic hygiene. As much as we like to make jokes, it can be pretty serious.


This is a special medical condition, and it’s related directly to irritation stemming from smegma. Basically the irritation causes your foreskin to stiffen. This isn’t the fun stiffening you get watching . . . educational videos on the internet. This is a harsh stiffening that can be pretty unpleasant. In extreme cases, it causes the foreskin to peel back and get stuck. Once again, unmentionable pain is a possibility. Balanitis is completely treatable, so if you do have an unmanageable foreskin, go see a doctor. They probably won’t laugh too much while they sort you out.

This brings us to the universal rule of smegma. If it really stinks — like you can smell it without stripping — go see a doctor. That means bad things are brewing. If it only makes you gag a little while you clean it, that’s your judgment call. But, remember that the smell mostly comes from bacteria feeding on the stuff, and that’s not good. If you’re ever unsure, it’s always better to leave it to the professional expertise of a doctor. We keep them around for a reason.


Remember how we told you that smegma isn’t causing cancer? That’s technically true, but there’s more to the story that you need to understand. While smegma itself is harmless, it can cause irritation. When your body deals with irritation, it tends to produce extra cells of many kinds right at the site. Mostly, that’s a good thing, but if you force your body to do this all the time for years, it increases your risk of developing cancer. In this case, we’re talking about cancer in your penis, so don’t sleep on that. 

The bigger takeaway is that chronic irritation is bad on any part of your body. This can range from repetitive stress injuries to eating food you know you can’t process. We’re not trying to send you into a panic any time you have irritation or inflammation. We’re trying to convince you that leaving these things alone can eventually have big consequences. Just take care of it.

The Social Case 

why you have to clean your smegma and what is it

You might think that fear of dick infections and cancer would be enough to convince a man to take a shower. We know better. Some of you really enjoy being filthy animals. You take pride in it. So, we’ll move away from medicine. We’ll explain why, socially, smegma is not your friend. If, after reading this, you still don’t care, you’re officially a lost cause. We’re washing our hands of you.

It’s Gross

Smegma is gross. Yawn. You’re not moved, but that’s because you aren’t thinking this through to conclusion. It doesn’t matter if you can handle it. What matters is if the person handling your junk can. We all love when a partner gives the little guy some attention. Are you really banking on your ability to find the rare human being who can handle a smegma-filled, stinking penis? Even if you are, things can go bad fast.

Imagine the setting. You’re getting hot and heavy. She moves down to your waste. Your pants come off. She winces when you reveal your disgusting helmet head, but she’s a trooper. She gives it the old college try. Unfortunately, she overestimates her constitution, and now you have a woman spewing her guts all over your special parts. 

For those who have never experienced a woman losing their lunch on your stuff, this is not a fun time. Depending on how recently she ate and what was in that meal, you’re in for a roller coaster of experiences. It can range from creamy and smelly to downright acidic. You were too lazy to wash your penis, and now you have acid burns on it. Congratulations.

Chemical Burns

Now, we have to circle back to medical problems. Do you know how to deal with a chemical burn on your skin? You start by washing the skin with running water. You probably jumped straight in the shower to do this, and that’s a good start. But, removing the acid isn’t enough. You have to neutralize it or it will just keep burning. For this, baking soda is your friend. It has a natural neutralizer that will alleviate the problem.

Still, if things are bad enough, you’ll be taking a trip to the hospital. And to think you could have skipped this whole scenario with a shower . . .

The Lonely Life

Ok. Maybe that got a little hyperbolic. Even if vomit burns on your dick aren’t a primary concern, you need to understand that smegma is a huge turn off. No matter how much you work out, how amazingly you dress or how great your game is, you will not close if you have obvious smegma. It’s a clear deal breaker, and it’s only a matter of time before this issue leads to some serious loneliness. There are serious repercussions to ignoring smegma.

In every social group, there’s one guy who’s noticeably older than everyone else. He’s extra awkward because he doesn’t know how to fit in with the younger kids, and the single women always look at him out of the side of their eyes. He’s not a bad dude, but obviously a lifetime of loneliness has taken a toll. Everyone tolerates him because they feel like it’s mean not to, but it’s not a good situation. This is known as Creepy Old Guy Syndrome (COGS), and it’s your bleak future when you ignore the threat of smegma. You’ll never get the chance to go to the hospital for chemical burns. No one is touching you. It is your fate.

COGS comes with its own list of side-effects. You’ve joked about these in the past, but with chronic smegma, they become your reality. You’re going to end up with chafing on your penis. This is because you’re the only one who will give it any attention, and the mounting loneliness and sexual frustration will inevitably drive you to escalating levels of self-abuse. Eventually, your hands and meat will both be callused beyond recognition. You’ll try to compensate, but there’s no helping it. You’re a creepy old guy. This is your life. And, you could end it all with a simple shower. Are you catching the theme yet? 

why do you have to clean your smegma

How to Manage Smegma

It’s actually pretty easy. Cleaning the penis and managing smegma will not require you to master new skills. You don’t have to change your hygiene routine (assuming you have one). All you have to do is pay a few minutes of attention to the skin under the foreskin. Of course, you also have to be consistent. That’s probably the killer for you guys on a lot of issues, but you really should let this be the thing that teaches you to form good habits. 

The Basics

For the most part, smegma can be cleaned with warm water. You don’t even need soap. We’ve mentioned the shower a bunch because the running water makes this super easy. You gently pull back the foreskin and get some fresh warm water in there. It’ll carry the stuff away with it. You don’t have to scrub. You don’t have to stand on your head. You simply rinse it. But, you have to rinse it every day. If you don’t like daily showers, then you need to find a means to rinse under the foreskin without a shower on those off days.

Now, sometimes smegma builds up. It could be because you were lazy. It could be because your natural stuff was working overtime. It doesn’t matter too much. If a gentle rinse isn’t getting the job done, you can escalate. You can add soap into the equation, but make sure it’s a gentle soap. We’ve already explained why you don’t want irritating stuff on your penis. Also, you don’t want it to get up in the hole at all. That burns.

If soap and water still aren’t quite getting you there, gentle agitation is the answer. Do not reach for a wash cloth or some type of scrubber. Gentleness is your friend. Usually, you can break up the smegma with a finger. It doesn’t require vigor. Once you get the area completely clean, you’re back to square one and a daily rinse should get it done.

In your laziness, some of you will wonder if there’s a better way. You’ll consider leaving the foreskin pulled over so the smegma can naturally dry and self-clean, like how circumcised penises do. This is a huge mistake. If you’ve never had this problem, leaving the foreskin stretched is bad juju. It gets stretches and sometimes inflamed. It can get stuck in the pulled state, and then you need a doctor just to get your dick back to normal. Put the foreskin back after you clean. Every time.

The Chronic Case

The last thing we have to discuss is chronic buildup. It’s not always laziness. Bodies are different, and that includes smegma production. Occasionally, a guy is going to have problems with from unda cheese even though he washes every day. This is worth a visit to the doctor. It’s not necessarily bad news, but you need to rule out some potentially serious conditions before you assume everything is peachy. And, remember the universal rule. If it smells, get it treated.

This concludes your lesson. While smegma is completely natural, it’s not one of those natural things that we like. It’s more like devastating hurricanes and volcanic eruptions. Nature isn’t always nice to us. Clean your penis, and smegma won’t be a problem. Avoid that advice, and you might face some very serious medical fallout. Even if you don’t, you can assume you won’t have a sex life while you leave the cheese under your foreskin.



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