Hemorrhoids, also known as piles, are swollen blood vessels found in your anal region. While they end up causing mild to no symptoms in most cases, they may cause severe and excruciating pain for others. However, the condition is known to cause frequent mucus discharges, especially once you’ve passed a stool.
One of the most common mistakes people make is wiping themselves with toilet paper after using the toilet. How does it aggravate your condition, and what alternatives can you use to keep your anal region protected from the worst possible outcomes? Let’s find out.
Avoid Using Toilet Paper
Shortly after a bowel movement, you must avoid using toilet paper as it can aggravate your hemorrhoids. For one, rubbing your anal region too much is a problem in itself as it can irritate your hemorrhoids as well as your skin. Furthermore, toilet papers are rough, and rubbing too much or too hard with them can cause them to feel like sandpaper.
What Can You Use Instead?
One of the best ways to ensure that your anal region isn’t left to deal with the after-effects of a rough toilet paper is to switch it with soothing wipes instead. After all, you cannot skip cleaning your anal area, especially after bowel movements. Even though a washcloth or moist toilet paper is equally good, most people rely on pre-packaged wipes. However, the key is to understand which wipes to use and avoid.
So, let’s break it down here. Avoid using baby wipes as they clog the toilet and contain alcohol and other irritants, which can turn out to cause more irritation. Instead, use wipes with aloe and witch hazel in them. These soothing elements leave your skin feeling at ease and don’t cause roughness or irritation like tissue and baby wipes. Witch hazel pads or tucks are also quite soothing but applying them can be hard, especially since they’re smaller in size.
In the end, the key is to opt for products that don’t contain perfume or alcohol, as they may end up causing more harm than good.
Additional Tips to Deal with Hemorrhoids At Home
Stop Spending More Time In the Loo
Do you have a habit of sitting on the toilet for too long? Or do you get swayed away by the various distractions around you, such as your phone or the newspaper? Well, for one, you may have ended up making your hemorrhoids worse. This is because the longer you sit, the greater the chances that you will end up straining.
Go When Necessary
While spending more time in the loo is highly discouraged, it isn’t to say that you should hold it in and not go when required at all. Instead, waiting can further elevate the problem by causing the stool to back up. This will also lead to more pressure being applied on the weak veins. Hence, establishing a healthy and consistent bowel habit is absolutely necessary.
Avoid Wiping Dry
As stated earlier, always wipe wet because it helps prevent your anal region from getting irritated. Again, the key is to avoid anything that contains alcohol and fragrance since they can end up making you feel a severe burning sensation. If you need something else to get you rid of the excruciating pain and discomfort, apply a cold compress or an ice pack on the target area for a few minutes.
Don’t Rub Too Much After a Sitz Bath.
Soaking yourself in a warm bath for 15 minutes at least thrice a day is by far one of the most recommended interventions to help you reduce discomfort at home. As much as this exercise keeps your anal area clean and also helps with the itching, it should be practiced with some caution. Always use a blow-dryer to air-dry your sensitive region since rubbing it too roughly may damage your sensitive tissues.
Sit Less, Move More
At the end of the day, wiping is not effective on its own. You must incorporate other changes in your lifestyle to ensure that discomfort is bearable if not eliminated completely. And so, sitting less is religiously recommended to reduce pressure on your veins and also to prevent constipation. The idea is to practice as much mobility as possible and avoid sitting or standing in one place for too long.
Add More Fiber to Your Diet
Prevention is better than cure, especially when it comes to hemorrhoids. Hence, the best way to do that is by increasing fiber in your diet. Fibers help keep your stools soft, so it gets easier to pass them. Furthermore, they also help you avoid constipation which is the biggest contributing factor to straining and tearing due to hard stools.
If Nothing Works, Consider Getting Surgical Treatment
If your symptoms have worsened or the home remedieshaven’t been effective, it may be time to take the next step. First of all, visit your health care professional, get examined, and discuss whether surgical treatment should be the way to go for you.
On the less invasive side, you have procedures such as rubber band ligation and coagulation, but they may not be as effective as surgery. So, speak to your doctor about your expectations, recovery time, side effects, etc., before you make a leap.
The Bottom Line
In the end, managing hemorrhoid symptoms has a lot to do with small changes in your daily habits. One of the most important ones is the incorporation of wet wipes when it comes to cleaning your anal region after a bowel movement.
While it may seem like a minor issue, wet wipes can at times make or break it for you. This is why you should stay wary of anything that contains alcohol or perfume and only opt for products with soothing ingredients. After all, wiping is a crucial part of post-bowel movement care and must be taken seriously.