Careful Cleaning

If your bottom is sore, itchy, painful, burning or just uncomfortable after going to the toilet, careful cleaning can really help – the discomforts are usually caused by your skin becoming scratched by hard motions or rubbing too hard with dry toilet paper, or just because the skin becomes more sensitive to the “poo”

First ‘wet wipe’

  1. Use toilet paper moistened with warm (not too hot!) tap water to clean yourself after having your bowels open
  2. After wetting the paper and before cleaning, gently pass the paper over a bar of soap. This stops the paper breaking up into small pieces and allows the paper to slide over the skin around the anus in a gentler manner
  3. Strain or push down gently as you wipe your bottom the first 1-2 times. The warmth from the water allows the muscles around the anus to relax which, together with straining, helps you clean higher up the anal canal including the area which may be causing most of the symptoms. You can easily miss this area with normal cleaning
  4. Keep wiping until the toilet paper stays clean

    Last ‘dry wipe’
  5. Finally dry the area with dry toilet paper making sure that bits of paper are not left on the skin

    If the soreness and itching occurs at other times when you have not been to the toilet, you can still use this 'careful cleaning' method. This is more likely to happen in people whose main symptom is itching called 'pruritis ani'. With this condition, it is helpful to clean the area before you go to bed at night

    If you pass wind or fart, you can cause little leaks of poo or stool. Check and clean again

    It might be difficult to follow this method if you are not at home! Almost as good but more expensive - use wet wipes. Try the very simple ‘aqueous’ wipes you can buy from a supermarket. It is better not to use baby wipes or similar – they contain additives, which could make things worse by causing an allergy

    After 'careful cleaning' your bottom should be clean and dry. If cleaning is done correctly ‘tram-lining’ of your pants never occurs!