Think you're a master at wiping your butt? If you're doing it the right way, then why does it feel itchy the moment you walk out of the toilet? We think it's time to take a closer look at this matter so we asked for an expert's advice.
Dr. Mark Anthony De Lusong, Training Program Director at the Philippine General Hospital Section of Gastroenterology, lays it out quite clearly (and graphically) for us:
"While pouring water, clean the anus mechanically with your fingers until you feel it's squeaky clean. After which, patting it dry, not wiping, is the next step to keep it dry," Dr. De Lusong advises. Trying to wipe it dry opens you up to potential anal scarring. (Don't laugh.)
He continues: "Alcohol, perfumes, baby powder, antibacterial soaps are not recommended on the anus as they can irritate the sensitive parts of it. If you're going to use soap, hypoallergenic baby soaps are the recommended ones to use."
In case you're in a public place and you suddenly feel the urge, don't just use toilet paper. Go with wet wipes and play it safe by going for unscented and chemical-free brands. Wipes offer some lubrication. Regular tissue, even those that promise to be the world's softest, can still generate some friction that may irritate the skin down there.
The good doctor instructs: "Wipe the anus with dry toilet paper after using moist wipes. [It] is advisable to clean any residual poop and to keep the anus dry."
Wipes are ideal, but aren't always available. What do you do now? When all you have is toilet paper our expert offers detailed steps:
"The best technique is to sit down with the cheeks as open as possible wiping from front to back first. Get two to three squares of tissue paper then wipe from back to front. Finally using [another] two to three squares of tissue paper, make it into a ball and wipe from front to back in one sweep."
This will prevent the germs present in the feces from getting near your nether regions and cause infection.
If you've ever wondered why you get that mahapdi feeling whenever you use tissue, Dr. De Lusong says it's generally due to excessive wiping. Next time wipe thoroughly but gently.
And be thorough enough. Leaving a little poop behind can cause infection and irritation especially if you have open wounds or sores near the anus.