Medical Q&As

Smegma - what is it?

I was wondering if it is normal to get a white substance under the foreskin of my penis? It is in a thin layer and covers the head and is under the foreskin. I notice it if I donít shower for a couple of days. It has a smell but itís not very strong.

This material sounds like smegma which is a normal secretion from the inner surface of the foreskin. It lubricates the opposing surfaces of the foreskin and glans penis and also helps to moisturise the surface of the glans thereby keeping it soft and supple. The lubricant effect ensures smooth movement between the foreskin and glans during the process of erection and also contributes to lubrication during penetrative sexual intercourse. Smegma has antibacterial and antiviral properties and offers the glans some degree of protection against infection.