One day you eat something risky, like Taco Bell or that new Mexican spot that you've been eyeing on Yelp for a couple of months now. The next morning, you feel your stomach clench up and things start to get a little volatile. Five minutes later, you are rushing towards the bathroom to take your seat on the throne. Royalty shouldn't have to go through this kind of ordeal; but you are, in fact, going through it. You have sat there for ten minutes waiting to clean up. It's a messy job and deep down you know it. Once you have finally mustered up the confidence, you wipe aggressively for maximum cleaning. One peek at the paper and you got a confirmed mess. You are now wiping furiously until you get a clean wipe. Although that wipe is clean of brown, it isn't clean of red. You have wiped too vigorously and caused damaged down there.
Doctors see it all the time. A patient with a story like the one above, comes in with blotchy, red, irritated rectum and insists they’re not doing anything unusual. One look at into their itchy bottom, and it's confirmed:
You are wiping the wrong way.
Wiping your butt wrong is very common. So common that there is a medical term used to describe the skin irritation that occurs from over wiping. It is called "perianal dermatitis."
Perianal Dermatitis can have many causes and occurs in many forms. It usually involves an itchy rash on swollen, reddened skin in the anus region.
In an attempt to clean their rear end, some people scrub so violently that the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons has given a name to the resulting tenderness: Polished Anus Syndrome, or PAS.
Over-wiping can also irritate existing conditions such as hemorrhoids, which are swollen veins in your anus and lower rectum. Hemorrhoids have a number of causes, although often the cause is unknown. They may result from straining during bowel movements.
As you can see, over wiping can be a serious problem that continues to build on itself. To avoid over wiping you need to learn how to wipe correctly. I'm here to help.
How To Wipe Your Butt Correctly
1. Use premium toilet paper:
Treat yourself. Don't live your life using low-quality, hard, thin toilet paper. Make sure to always get the premium brand with maximum softness and durability. Your butt will thank you.
2. Fold your toilet paper
It's simple math. FOLD YOUR TOILET PAPER. You need to fold your toilet paper into a nice sturdy square. If you are using thin, public restroom toilet paper, then you should add an extra fold or two just to make sure it's nice and thick. Whatever you do, please don't bunch your toilet paper. That's like dabbing your butt.
Area equals base times height. Your toilet paper is square for a reason.
3. Wipe sitting down
I used to stand up to wipe, until I realized it made absolutely no sense. Why would it be a good idea to close your cheeks with mud between them? When you make a peanut butter sandwich the peanut butter spreads out when you close it. Same thing happens with the butt when you stand up before you wipe. It just creates more unnecessary work.
4. Wipe front to back
Once you got your nice fold and you are ready to wipe. Just reach around the back- STILL SITTING-and wipe front to back starting from the edge of the perineal (gooch) area. As much as you might be tempted to, don't wipe harshly. Your wipe should be a gentle consistent motion. Wiping front to back is especially important for women. You want make sure you are pushing waste away from the groin. Poo in the groin area or the vaginal canal can lead to urinary tract infections.
5. Use your left hand
There is no real reason for this except the fact that everyone seems to use their left hand for wiping. Lefties are always getting the sh*t end of the stick apparently.
Now that you have the basics down, I will offer a few ways on how to improve your wipe.
How to Improve Your Wipe
1. Use a Bidet
Eastern cultures are strong advocates of the standalone or add-on toilet accessory that squirts a spray of water between your cheeks to flush out the residual fecal matter. While bidets are pretty common in Europe and Japan, the West has been slower to adopt this superior method of post-poop clean-up; others might be wary of tapping into existing home plumbing to supply fresh water.
2. Give up Wet Wipes
Use of the wipes has been linked with allergic reactions to methylisothiazolinone, a preservative used to inhibit bacterial growth while products are on store shelves. “Even the all-natural ones can cause problems,” Curtis Asbury, MD, says, since any kind of chemical presence in the wipes isn’t usually rinsed off right away. They are also not flushable, terrible for the environment and can harm your local municipality sewage system ultimately costing taxpayers.
Does that mean you should reach for dry toilet paper instead? Not quite. “It’s healthier, certainly, to clean your body with water," Asbury says. "Nobody takes a dry piece of paper, rubs it over their skin, and thinks they’re clean.” Even the Greco-Romans (332 BCE–395 CE) knew this, as one historical account from the philosopher Seneca revealed that they used a damp sponge affixed to a stick (link to history of wiping article) as a post-toiletry practice.
3. Use Toilet Paper Spray or Booty Mint
If you like moisture with your wipe, try using a toilet paper spray like Öspray. Toilet paper spray is designed to be applied to toilet paper before you wipe. Essentially, it makes your toilet paper an instant flushable wipe.
4. Get a Squatty Potty
Squatty Potty's are a small stand that fits around the base of your toilet, allowing you to sit with the knees elevated in a more natural squat position. This opens up your rectum and gives you a better angle for excretion, which helps prevent poo from stuck in and around your anus.
Whether you decide to use our recommended way of wiping or not, make sure you always wash your hands after you do number 2. I know it seems elementary, but I can't tell you how many times I have seen people poop and just walk right out of the restroom. The whole point of wiping correctly is to help you improve your hygiene. This whole process falls apart when you don't wash your hands at the end.