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Rectal Problems - Prevention

To prevent rectal problems:

  • Use white, unscented toilet paper.
  • Do not use scented soaps. These can irritate the skin.
  • Practice good hygiene. Gently wipe the area with toilet paper after each bowel movement. If irritation starts, use water-soaked cotton balls to clean the area and then pat the area dry with dry cotton balls. Premoistened pads, such as Tucks or "baby wipes," may be less irritating.
  • Do not sit on the toilet for long periods of time.
  • Eat a high-fiber diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables and bran cereal every day.
  • Avoid foods that can cause rectal problems. Examples of such foods include:
    • Regular or diet cola.
    • Coffee.
    • Beer and other alcoholic beverages.
    • Dairy products.
    • Any other items that you know cause you to have gas or indigestion.
  • Avoid constipation. For more information, see the topic Constipation, Age 11 and Younger or Constipation, Age 12 and Older.
  • Avoid diarrhea. For more information, see the topic Diarrhea, Age 11 and Younger or Diarrhea, Age 12 and Older.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: February 20, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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