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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.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    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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