When you normally go to the bathroom, the only thought you have about how to clean yourself afterward is “Is there enough toilet paper in here?”
Most people use toilet tissue for after peeing or pooping without a second thought.
However, the softest toilet tissue can feel like using a cloth of woven electrified barb wire against active hemorrhoids (protruding or not) and skin irritations.
Wiping yourself with dry toilet paper over your anus or perineum, especially when that area is inflamed, can cause micro-tears in the skin, making the irritation worse.
Also, some softer tissue brands leave behind lint or torn tissue bits, which defeats the purpose of keeping your tender areas clean.
So, if using toilet paper is a no-no when you “go,” how do you keep yourself clean while treating your hemorrhoids or healing your perineum area?
How to keep yourself clean when treating your hemorrhoids.
Go when your body tells you to go – hold nothing back. Holding stuff in and then straining is what may have contributed to the hemorrhoids in the first place.
Do not force yourself. Your poop should move itself out naturally, without excessive straining. If you are trying to pass a hard stool, be patient and give yourself time.
No extracurricular bathroom activities. When you’re finished peeing/pooping, finish up. Don’t extend your sitting time on the toilet by reading, checking social media on your phone, or get into long texting conversations with your friends or family.
(We know what we do in those public stalls!)
Prolonging your bathroom time by sitting for long periods puts strain on the bottom area – and, again, may exacerbate the hemorrhoids you’re dealing with in the first place.
What to use to clean yourself after you poop
Whatever type of wipes you choose to use to clean yourself, make sure anything you use is biodegradable and unscented.
Ideally, you should use a wet wipe designed for treating hemorrhoids. There are several kinds of wipes on the market, including “Preparation H.”
In a pinch, you can use a moistened wad of toilet paper to clean yourself while in the bathroom. But the ideal solution is to use a biodegradable, unscented wet wipe.
Don’t use baby wipes at all. They may be cheaper by volume, but they’re not designed to be flushable. Besides, some brands of baby wipes contain fragrances or other preservative chemicals that can irritate your sensitive areas.
Also, for women, avoid the “feminine” wipes like the plague. They contain lots of fragrance, and are an especially bad idea for healing hemorrhoids or postpartum recovery.
Those wipes are designed to “deodorize” your vaginal area – so, about as useful as douching (which is to say, not useful at any point in time!)
When wiping yourself down, wipe front to back and not the other way around – for women, especially. Because risking bladder infections by wiping upwards and risking bacteria cross-contamination is not a good idea.
Once you’ve cleaned yourself, use a hemorrhoid ointment or cream to soothe the area and keep the still-healing skin lubricated, moist, and protected.
(Oh, by the way, Sitz Bath Ointment is perfect for this!)
Going to the bathroom while healing from hemorrhoids or other perineal area injuries shouldn’t be a chore, and should take less time than what it took to read this blog post. (We hope you’re not reading this post from the toilet!)
Which wet wipes do you use in your healing? Let us know in the comments below.