Good afternoon, here’s a story about my butthole. Years ago, it was itching constantly, and I couldn’t figure out why. I assumed it was dirty, so when I went to the bathroom, I always made sure to wipe extra hard. Finally a doctor had to tell me to stop that, and give my butthole a break. I did, and I stopped itching.
I tell you this humiliating story for a good reason: According to Mental Floss, a lot of you are wiping too hard as well.
Photo: Lynn Greyling
Dermatologist Curtis Asbury tells Mental Floss that “perianal dermatitis”, also known as “polished anus syndrome”, is on the rise. It affects up to 5 per cent of Australians, especially men. And it’s partly because people are wiping too hard with dry toilet paper.
There are other causes, including not wiping enough, so consider that and check with your doctor. But frequently, according to the ASCRS, people can make an itchy anus worse by scratching away with toilet paper.
The answer is easy: If your butthole itches a lot, don’t wipe so hard. Maybe upgrading to a softer toilet paper will help you wipe more gently.
If you poop right before your shower, skip the wiping, and just run water over it. Don’t scrub hard or soap it up, says the ASCRS: “It must be stressed that the anus does not need to be scrubbed or sterilized. Cleaning with plain water rinses is quite helpful.”
Reduce irritation with a haemorrhoid cream or medicated pad. Dr Asbury recommends wiping with a moist Viva-brand paper towel, but you have to throw those out instead of flushing them, which is a little gross. You could theoretically use washable cloth wipes, but we really don’t recommend it. Just go easy on yourself!
The Best Way to Wipe Your Butt, According to the Experts [Mental Floss via MEL]