Bad News — You’re Probably Wiping All Wrong. Here’s What You Should Be Doing.

You’ve probably heard that few things in life are certain except death and taxes, but we’d like to add something else to the list: cleaning up in the bathroom.

So, since we have to do it, what’s the best technique?

The preferred method of wiping “is not wiping,” nationally renowned anal surgeon Dr. Evan Goldstein told us — Raj Punjabi and Noah Michelson, co-hosts of HuffPost’s “Am I Doing It Wrong?” podcast — when we recently chatted with him.

“When you’re looking at someone’s [anus], to the left and the right are these wrinkles ― it’s like an accordion. It opens. It closes,” said Goldstein, who is also the CEO and founder of Bespoke Surgical.

“The front and the back ― towards the vagina, towards the penis and testicle area, or the tailbone, the skin there is not wrinkled. It’s very thin. When we wipe, where do we wipe? Usually front to back — thin skin! We all wipe so much, so what happens over time? People tear the skin. It gets irritated. It gets angry at us.”

Instead of wiping, Goldstein suggested cleaning the area without toilet paper. “I’m a huge bidet [fan],” he told us, because it can thoroughly wash the anus without harming it. He also recommended a quick shower or rinse if you don’t own a bidet. “You always want to make sure you’re drying yourself,” he added, because moisture in that area can cause irritation.

This is one of the reasons why he is firmly anti-wet wipes.

“They are so terrible — not only for the environment, but for your hole,” he said. “There’s so many companies out there throwing wipes and I think they should all be banned. I see 90 people a week [in my surgical office], and I would say one-third of all the people coming through are coming in from wet wipe-induced issues.”

That’s because using them can change the microbiome of that area of the body.

“Think about it — we have good bacteria, we have bad bacteria, but they are in homeostasis. They are in equilibrium. Wet wipes fuck that in a really bad way,” Goldstein said. “I see ridiculous dermatitis [in my patients] … bacterial infections. … Now that you’ve messed up that microbiome, it’s causing so many problems.”

If you are going to wipe using toilet paper, he recommended more of a “blot” than a wipe and doing it in a “standing squat,” because there’s less blood flowing to that part of the body when you’re standing. And that means less potentially problem-causing pressure on the delicate area.

“The longer you’re sitting on the bowl, the more blood [down there], the more wiping, the more irritation. The body senses that,” Goldstein said. Instead, we want to get vertical again as soon as possible to relieve that pressure. “So, you poop, wipe once or twice [while seated], finish standing up. Why? The blood starts to leave [when you stand up]. The mechanism starts to go back to the normal, daily [position],” Goldstein said.

“There are some people that it’s harder [to wipe] when they’re standing,” he noted. “They don’t feel like they’re getting the full hole. … But we don’t need to go all up in there. If you are going all up in there, we need to go back to diet and fiber and pre- and probiotics, and thinking about better strategies. I always say, ‘It’s not butt health; it’s gut health.’ If you have gut health, you will automatically have butt health.”

Goldstein also chatted with us about why squatting is the best position for pooping, what a perfect poop should look like and much more:

Need some help with something you’ve been doing wrong? Email us at AmIDoingItWrong@HuffPost.com, and we might investigate the topic in an upcoming episode.

For more from Goldstein, visit his website or his Instagram page, and check out Future Method’s Butt & Gut Daily Fiber.

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