If you’ve found a weird white substance under your foreskin you might be a bit worried about what it could be. Chances are it’s nothing to worry about and you’ve actually discovered a natural bodily secretion called smegma. Read on as we answer a reader’s question and explain what smegma is and how to deal with it.

What’s the white stuff under my foreskin?

“I’ve got a white substance under my foreskin, can you tell me what it is? How do I get rid of it? I’m also getting some pain after I ejaculate, could this be connected?”

This is a very common question and nothing to be worried about. It sounds like what you’re describing is smegma.

What does smegma look like?

Usually like white stuff under your foreskin or on your penis. Don’t worry, it’s perfectly natural and smegma build up is easily sorted.

What is smegma?

A white substance produced by the penis sebaceous glands that appears under the foreskin. It’s is a naturally occurring substance, but it’s important to make sure you wash thoroughly on a daily basis because, if it’s left to build up, it can cause problems, like an infection. And it’ll start to smell, which is why you might have heard it referred to as dick cheese.

How to get rid of smegma build up

To get rid of smegma build up you should clean under the foreskin (by fully pulling the foreskin back), using un-perfumed mild soap and warm water, and make sure you dry yourself properly afterwards.

If your foreskin is difficult to pull back or painful to touch, read our article on foreskin problems.

Problems with smegma

It could be the pain you describe is due to an infection caused by a build up of smegma – a condition known as balanitis. But it’s impossible to diagnose over the internet, so you need to see your doctor (GP) about this.

If you feel embarrassed about talking to your doctor, try to remember that doctors examine penises every day and understand that men often feel uneasy about it.

Of course, if you don’t wish to see your regular doctor about this, you could see someone at a specialist sexual health clinic. The services they offer are completely confidential and you don’t even have to give your real name (but make sure you use the same name every time you visit). Read more about gum clinics here.

White spots under foreskin

Smegma has a creamy sort of texture to it. If you’ve found something more like white spots under your foreskin, they could be pearly penile papules. These are entirely different to smegma, but again are completely harmless. If you’re concerned about white spots on your penis, read this.

Questions or worries about your body? Check out the rest of our body problems resources here or start a chat on our discussion boards. Check out the FPA for help finding a specialist sexual health clinic near you.

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Updated on 16-Sep-2022