Smegma a white, pungent substance that consists of dead skin, bacteria, and natural oils. It accumulates beneath the foreskin and it is a real problem for men who suffer from a tight foreskin or phimosis. However, it can also occur in females. Clitoris smegma or smegma that accumulates under the folds of the labia is common. Smegma is not a sexually transmitted infection but increased production can be a sign of thrush or a yeast infection. If the buildup is not removed, smegma can become quite hard and form ‘smegma pearls’ which can cause irritation and inflammation of the labia or penis. If you want to know how to get rid of smegma, then read on. Our home remedies for smegma will treat the problem for both males and females and keep your genitals clean.
Smegma consists of excreted sebum, dead skin cells and bacteria. It is naturally produced and is not simply an unwanted byproduct, but actually serves a purpose: namely to lubricate the genitals during sex.
In particular, smegma under the foreskin allows the foreskin to easily slide on and off the head of the penis without causing irritation or pain.
The smell of smegma is due to a byproduct of the bacteria that feed on it. Staphylococcus Epidermidis bacteria are present in high quantities in smegma and they produce a pungent acid called Isovaleric acid which gives smegma its smell.
This acid is also found in different types of cheese and this similarity of smell has given the smegma its nickname ‘dick cheese’. Due to this name, many people assume smegma is really just a male problem, but female smegma can also occur near the clitoris or labia.
Smegma in females is surprisingly common. Vaginal smegma can build up anywhere where there are folds of skin but typically there are two types:
The first is clitoris smegma that builds up around the hood of the clitoris. The second is when smegma builds up between the labia.
Anywhere where folds of skin are present in the vaginal area can produce smegma.
Dead skin, excess sebum oils can collect in the folds of the genital skin which allows a warm, food-rich environment for bacteria to grow. The smell of smegma is produced by bacteria, similar to the bacteria that produce body odor.
Female smegma is natural, and while not all women produce it, if you do, it is not a cause for concern.
However, vaginal smegma often smells terrible and this is because of bacteria feeding on the dead skin cells and natural oils that smegma contains.
If you suddenly find a build up of smegma in the vagina area, it can be a sign that the natural bacterial flora present in the vagina has become unbalanced.
Smegma under foreskin
For men, smegma under the foreskin is very common.
Smegma occurs naturally not just in all men, but animals too. Its function is to lubricate the foreskin over the head of the penis, which facilitates comfortable sex.
If a man is uncircumcised, the build-up of smegma is far more common as there are glands on the inside of the foreskin that produce the sebum. This sebum mixes with dead skin to lead to smegma. Circumcised males not only have less area for smegma to build, but fewer glands to produce the sebum. 
Smegma under the foreskin, if allowed to build, can turn into ‘smegma pearls’ – small globules which can harden with time. When they harden, the begin to feel abrasive pushed up against the head of the penis.
This is a real problem for those with phimosis, a nasty condition where the foreskin cannot be retrieved over the penis head. As the foreskin, cannot be pulled back, the smegma is hard to clean and remove, which can ultimately lead to severe irritation and distress.
While smegma is very common for those with phimosis, it does not occur in all males. Its development is usually dependent on the hygiene habits of the person.
Washing the area under the foreskin of your penis makes a huge difference. This allows regular exfoliation of the dead cells trapped under the foreskin before they attach to the sebaceous secretions.
- Maintain Good Hygiene
If you want to know how to get rid of smegma, then the best way is to maintain good hygiene. Keeping it clean down there is one of the simplest home remedies for smegma you will come across.
How exactly can you maintain a good hygiene? By washing the genital area on a regular basis.
Get a mild soap and lukewarm water to wash the affected area thoroughly. Wash all the area under the foreskin, labia or clitoris. Be gentle while scrubbing as harshness can irritate the skin.
- Try Retracting your Skin More Often
Hygiene does not just stop with washing your genitals. You need to retract the foreskin everytime you wash.
Assuming you do not suffer from phimosis, all males can pull back their foreskin. (if you suffer from phimosis, check out our home remedies for phimosis). If the smegma is hard, it might not be possible to fully retract the skin.
In such cases, do not use force as it can lead to tearing and infection. Use some drops of olive oil to soften it before removing it.
Alternatively, if you want to know how to clean smegma off a sensitive head, then the best approach is to take a long bath and gently work the foreskin until it fully pulls back. Gently clean using cotton wool and water.
Now, rinse the entire area and pat it dry with a clean piece of cloth. Place the foreskin back at its position.
Ensure that when washing the vagina, you clean within the folds of the skin surrounding the clitoris and labia. Soap and water are fine
Gently pull back the skin folds of the vagina. To keep the folds spread open to facilitate cleaning, use your two first fingers in a v-shape.
Clean with warm water and unscented mild soap,
Repeat this step every day to ensure smegma does not return.
- Get Circumcised
Circumcision is only a treatment for male smegma.
If you want to know how to get rid of smegma for good, then circumcision is the most foolproof remedy.
Glands that produce sebum are located underneath the foreskin. Removing the foreskin will control smegma production.
However, while it is a very drastic measure, there are other benefits of circumcision to consider:
- Lower risk of urinary tract infections.
- Lower risk of some sexually transmitted diseases in men.
- Lower risk of penile cancer 
- Prevention of balanitis (inflammation of the glans and foreskin).
- Prevention of phimosis
If you are concerned by any of the above, then it may be worthwhile considering circumcision to get rid of smegma as overall sexual health could be improved.
- Try Epsom Salts
In one study from 1997, regular saline rinses with the foreskin retracted or the labia or clitoris folded skin exposed helped to reduce inflammation and remove smegma in as little as one week.
Many people report that soaking in an Epsom salt bath delivers relief.
Epsom salts can be used to get rid of smegma for good.
The next time you consider getting into a warm tub of water, add 3 cups of Epsom salt to it. 
- Go for Bicarbonate Soda
If you are not sure about using Epsom salts, you can always count on bicarbonate soda.
For men, get a bowl of warm water. Add 3-4 tablespoons of baking soda and let your penis soak for 15 minutes.
The baking soda will help break down the hard smegma but will also disinfect the penis, removing the cheesy smell.
For women, the best method is to add a cupful of baking soda to your bath and soak, washing the affected parts thoroughly.
- Wear correct underwear
As soon as the genitals shed dead skin and oils, bacteria begin to feed and multiply on the smegma. To prevent smegma from returning, it is very important to make the environment as hostile to bacteria as possible.
Bacteria like warm moist environment so you should endeavor to make keep your penis or vagina as dry and clean as possible.
For women, you should try to wear cotton underwear as much as possible, avoiding thongs, nylon, acetate or other synthetic fabrics. These synthetic fabrics do not let the vaginal breath, trapping in moisture and promoting bacterial growth.
Also, try to avoid pantyhose, leggings, and girdles as these also trap in moisture and heat into the vaginal area.
For men, the advice is the same. Tight fitting underpants will keep your genitals moist and warm, promoting smegma bacterial growth. Try to wear loose fitting cotton boxer shorts.
- Go for Apple Cider Vinegar
In case you are suffering from smegma, it is crucial that you steer clear of infections. Smegma is not itself a dangerous condition but it may allow bacteria to complicate it.
Apple cider vinegar is one of the best home remedies for smegma as well as for secondary infections.
You can use it to boost your immune system by consuming it in a raw form. You may also mix it in water and put in some honey for added flavor. 
Or you can use it to directly treat the smegma. Dilute the vinegar and use the solution as a genital wash. The vinegar is antibacterial and will sterilize both the penis and labia/clitoris.
Adding the vinegar to your bath is another simple way to cleanse the genitals of unwanted bacteria. Roll back the foreskin or the clitoris/labia skin while in the bath.
- Avoid hygiene products
You should avoid feminine hygiene products such as deodorants and other synthetic oils. These can help trap moisture, bacteria and promote smegma growth.
Likewise, women should refrain from using vaginal douches. You may think that these are a ‘deep clean’, but the douches flush out your natural bacterial flora, upset the PH of the vagina and this can lead to an overgrowth of unwanted pathogenic bacteria.
You should avoid using powders to dry the penis after washing. Talcum powders give a dry sensation at first, but when the powder becomes moist it can contribute to the build of smegma under the foreskin.
Likewise, avoid deodorizing your genitals. The chemicals in deodorants can work to lock in moisture and increase smegma production.
- Apply Coconut Oil
Using coconut oil is among the best home remedies for Smegma. Also, if you want to know how to remove hardened smegma, coconut oil is for you.
It will not only soften the hard smegma but will also prevent the penis or vagina from getting infected.
Coconut oil is effective in killing off yeasts that can lead to increased smegma production. It is rich in caprylic and lauric acid which makes it a strong antiseptic and antifungal. 
For women especially, if the smegma is linked to a bacterial infection, coconut oil is an excellent remedy to rebalance the bacterial flora.
- Eat More Garlic
Garlic is rich in ajoene which has strong antifungal properties. It can reduce your chances of getting fungal infections while treating smegma. 
How can you use garlic to reduce bacterial superimposition?
Crush a clove of garlic, mix it with coconut oil and form a poultice.
Apply this paste to the affected area for some time. Remove it and rinse the penis or labia with water carefully.
Additionally, you can also increase the amount of garlic in your daily food items.
- Wash your genitals thoroughly every day
- Use mild soaps to clean the genitals in order to avoid any chemical reactions
- Don’t leave the skin retracted every time you try to remove smegma
- Do not use any unhygienic ‘tools’ to take out smegma