Wet wipes and baby wipes are NOT a replacement for toilet paper!
You’ve read my earlier warnings about using wet wipes and their damage to your plumbing and septic system, now listen to why a Surgeon Is Begging You to Stop Using them! Wet wipes were a go-to solution during the Covid-19 TP shortage and, from that experience, many have adopted them as the afficionado’s version of Toilet Paper. Some feel like wet wipes are fancier and more grown-up. In addition to the tush pampering factor, people who swear by them believe that the method is more thorough and leaves things cleaner than it would otherwise be.
Unfortunately, it appears those beliefs are misleading, and a rectal surgeon says it’s time to “can” those wet wipes for good.
“…wet wipes aren’t the best option for the health of your posterior.”
“People think if they can use a wet wipe on their baby, they can use it on themselves,” says Evan Goldstein, DO, colorectal surgeon and founder of Future Method. However, while wet wipes might make you think you’re getting your bum cleaner, they can actually cause myriad complications that you really don’t want to have to deal with in the long run. In addition to being a major environmental concern—which was discussed in our earlier article—wet wipes aren’t the best option for the health of your posterior.
Wiping away good bacteria
Just like the skin on your face, your anus and its surrounding skin is covered in good and bad bacteria. These work together to find homeostasis and keep your pooper in tip-top condition. “This is important, so when you start to augment that [microbiome] with wet wipes, what happens is that you’re wiping away the good bacteria and the imbalance becomes a problem,” says Dr. Goldstein. When there’s an imbalance, you can wind up with irritation, rashes, or fungal or bacterial infections. “With the homeostasis in the biome altered, bad bacteria starts to populate fungus or irritation, which I see all of the time,” he says, noting that a obvious signs of this are redness and overall discomfort. Even wet wipes that are “chemical-free” will do this.
Another big risk with using wet wipes as a replacement for toilet paper is excessive moisture. “People tend to use wet wipes and then pull up their pants, so what happens is that the moisture sits there,” says Dr. Goldstein. “The moisture just festers, and it causes a change in bacteria and leads to irritation.” If this continually happens, he notes that people can feel as though they have fissures or hemorrhoids when really it’s just a buildup of irritation and bad bacteria. If you experience something like this, make an appointment with your doctor to see what’s going on.
Wet wipes can cause major problems for your home’s plumbing, the ecosystem. They can wind up in rivers and streams and now they are unhealthy to boot. “This a major issue,” says Dr. Goldstein (a major Toto washlette and bidet fan) — so wet wipes should never, ever be used.
At this time, I think we have got to the bottom of this issue!