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Diet, bowel movements, and sexual activity can all affect your rectum health. However, what we don’t often consider is how we wash our bums. Excessive wiping can hurt, but so can soaps – especially fragrant ones. This is how you wash your ass, according to the experts.

How to wash your ass right

How often you clean your bum and what you use to clean it can cause this terrible conditions such as itching, abscesses, and anal fissures. DR. Navya Msyore, a GP, cites anal health as one of the most discussed topics with her patients because unfortunately most people do not realize they are cleaning their asses the wrong way.

“It’s the best way to keep it simple,” says Dr. Msyore, “lukewarm water to wash the area and be sure to wash once a day.” If you don’t want to go into the shower, you can do the job with a warm washcloth or a simple wipe of warm water. However, it is important that the cloth or towel is fragrance-free and does not contain any chemicals or fragrances that can irritate the rectum.

Why you shouldn’t use soap between your cheeks

Basically, soap can dry out your anus and cause irritation, like Dr. Msyore explains. “If we irritate the skin, tiny tiny micro-cracks can appear in the area,” she said. “If that happens, you could potentially get an infection.” Instead, if you want to use soap, only do so once or twice a week and use a mild soap with no fragrances or additives. You should still wash your ass every day, mostly with just water.

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How to wipe your bum and when to stop wiping

One of the most important factors in anal hygiene is the way you wipe yourself, and the amount and hardness of your wipe.

“One of the main risk factors for UTIs is wiping in the wrong direction,” says Dr. Msyore. “They actually bring a lot of the feces that is there into the genitals and the genital area can then become infected.” Front-to-back wiping removes the fecal bacteria from the genitals, which is what you want.

At the same time, excessive wiping can be just as harmful. Much like soap dries out the anus, excessive wiping can irritate the skin and cause small cracks or anal fissures. Dr. Msyore mentions that wiping six to ten times is considered excessive, depending on how much toilet paper you use.

Why you should get a hose attachment for your bidet

A bidet seems like the logical solution, but Dr. Msyore explains how bidets have various properties that can also irritate the skin, including perfumes and varying water pressures, some of which can spray with excessive water pressure that can spread feces. The spray can “similarly pose a risk of urinary tract infections if bacteria are transferred to other areas,” she says. The trick is to use bidets with a hand hose to control water pressure and flow direction.