BOXERSI’ve been around the block a couple of times and have seen a couple of penises in my day; mostly circumcised and a few uncircumcised. In my early 20s I did have the unfortunate displeasure of coming across a smelly, cheesy uncircumcised penis. Not cool!

I felt bad for the young man I encountered with this affliction. With no adult male figure around growing up, there was no one to teach him how to properly clean himself. Years of neglect caused bacteria growth, a milky appearance (smegma build up) but also a bad smell. Making matters worse was that he could not properly pull back his foreskin which lead to excessive pain, swelling and inflammation (balanitis) around the head of his penis.

Balanitis is common, and it can occur at any age. It more commonly affects boys aged under four years and also men who have not been circumcised. About one in 25 boys and about one in 30 uncircumcised men are affected with balanitis at some time in their life. It is very uncommon in men who have been circumcised.

A great but underrated resource providing health advice is An article on this matter goes into some detail about how to properly clean your circumcised and uncircumcised penis. An excerpt is below;

Gently wash the penis with warm water each day when you’re having a shower or bath. If you have a foreskin, pull it back gently and wash underneath.

If you don’t wash underneath the foreskin correctly, a cheesy-looking substance called smegma may begin to gather. Smegma is a natural lubricant that keeps the penis moist. It’s found on the head of the penis and under the foreskin. If smegma builds up in the foreskin, it can start to smell, stop you from easily pulling your foreskin back and become a breeding ground for bacteria. This can cause redness and swelling of the head of your penis, called balanitis.

If you have a foreskin, pull it back gently and wash underneath. Don’t try to forcefully pull back the foreskin of a baby or young boy as this could be painful and cause harm. Their foreskin might still be attached to the head of the penis and will therefore not retract fully. At this stage of their development, there’s no need to clean inside the foreskin. Gently wash the penis with warm water each day when you’re having a shower or bath.

It may be tempting to use talc and deodorants on your penis, but these are best avoided because talc will get under the foreskin, where it may cause irritation. Circumcised men have to be just as careful about cleaning their penis. Gently washing the penis with warm water once a day is sufficient.

Don’t forget to clean the base of the penis and the testicles, where sweat and hair can combine to produce a strong smell, just as unpleasant as in your armpits. These areas need frequent washing to stop sweat from accumulating, especially as they are enclosed in underwear for most of the day. Make sure the area between the base of the testicles and the anus is also clean and odor-free.

There you have it. No more excuses for having a cheesy penis. If you are experiencing pain and complications from smegma and balanitis you must consult a physician as soon as possible. If not treated, it can cause painful urination and further infections. Antibiotics and creams may be prescribed as treatment; however circumcision may be needed.