December 7, 2023

Brighton Journal

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Toilet paper vs bidet: It’s better to take care of your health, according to a Harvard expert

Toilet paper vs bidet: It’s better to take care of your health, according to a Harvard expert
Using a bidet instead of toilet paper significantly reduces the amount of germs on your hands (Freepik)

Q: I feel like I’m using the wrong toilet paper or the one I’m using is too harsh on my skin. How do I clean myself after going to the bathroom?

A: Instead of cleaning Toilet paperTry using Bidet.

Bidets are gentle and hygienic. In fact, A study In 2022, people who used bidets were found to have fewer germs on their hands than those who wiped.

Researchers asked 32 nursing students in Japan to wear clean medical gloves when using the bathroom to defecate, and then analyzed the gloves. Bacteria Those who grew up wiping with toilet paper were then almost average 40,000 bacteria A variety of possible items attached to your gloves. Bacteria on gloves Bidet users have decreased by almost 10 times.

The study was small and more rigorous research is needed on the effects of using bidets compared to toilet paper. But as a member #teambydeadI have seen the difference they can make in my patients’ lives.

I always recommend it to my patients who have loose stools Irritable bowel syndrome, who find that constant cleansing leaves their skin raw. Bidets are great for anyone who has difficulty with balance or coordination when wiping themselves, and especially for those recovering from hemorrhoids, anal fissures, or postpartum.

The use of a bidet can be a sustainable option that reduces the waste of toilet paper and water, and contributes to the environment home (pixabay).

Bidets are not only better for your wallet (think about how much toilet paper your family uses each month), but they’re also better for the environment. When you waste one-eighth of a gallon of water per use with a bidet, toilet paper waste is reduced. It takes about 1.5 pounds of wood and six gallons of water to make one roll of toilet paper.

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I get it, though: it can be hard to get over the weirdness of trying something new in an area that doesn’t try new things very often. But once you experience that level of freshness, it becomes so instinctive that it’s hard to go back to cleaning.

There is a learning curve when it comes to adjusting the water pressure and reaching all the corners. If you don’t have a fancy bidet with a dryer, you’ll need to dry the area with toilet paper or a clean towel.

You don’t need to buy a completely new toilet to start using a bidet. The Toilet seat accessories They cost around $50. When you are making purchasing decisions, you should measure your closet and think about the nearest retail outlet.

Choosing between single-ply and double-ply toilet paper comes down to personal preference, comfort and environmental impact.

Can’t fathom the idea of ​​a bidet? You can still give your butt the tender loving care it deserves by investing in two layers or more of toilet paper.

Toilet paper sold in the U.S. is typically made from trees from Canada’s boreal forests. Regarding the number of layers of a sheet: A layer is a single layer of fabric, two layers are glued together.

Proponents of single-ply paper argue that it is better for the environment because it decomposes more easily and kills fewer trees. But a layer can be thin and hard on the skin, and people can develop a particularly thick crust when exposed to a layer.

And a note about “disposable wipes”: I recommend them for people with hemorrhoids or in certain situations like bowel preparation for a screening colonoscopy. But because they are luxurious, they cannot be flushed down the toilet and must instead be disposed of in the trash.

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Men generally do not wipe themselves after urinating. It probably won’t harm your health; There are no studies to prove it.

Girls and women learn to wipe from front to back after urinating or defecating. The idea behind this is that women have shorter urethras (the tube that leads to the bladder) than men and wiping from the back to the front gives fecal bacteria more of a chance to reach the urethra, where they have to travel a shorter distance. Urinary tract infection.

Summarize a Urinary tract infection It does not mean to anyone that it has simply been “cleaned incorrectly”; The play has a lot to do with urinary tract infections, and the whole area isn’t exactly sterile. But wiping inside is a risk factor that needs to be mitigated.

Physiological differences between men and women lead to different cleaning procedures after urination (Frepic).

Cleansing can be rough and abrasive on the delicate skin around the anus. While everyone’s poop is different, it’s completely normal, and if you’re a frequent pooper, chances are you’re pooping too much.

My friends, I introduce you to the power of dabbing: instead of wiping, gently dab the excess into a tissue to avoid irritating your skin or aggravating those pesky hemorrhoids. Close the toilet lid before flushing. You may be thinking that the next step is to go out with your pants on tight. But what about the toilet lid?

A 2012 study found that Bacteria C. Difficulty Almost 12 times more spread when washing with the lid up compared to when the lid is down. Even if it’s your bathroom at home, you don’t want aerosol particles from the toilet landing on your toothbrush.

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What my patients need to know

Now wash your hands after you touch the wipers, cover and flush. I’m sorry to say this, but you’re not an exception if you use your feet to flush, as some people do in public bathrooms: you still have bacteria on your hands.

When diseases can spread Fecal pathogens They end up in our mouths, so it takes an extra 20 seconds to wash your hands thoroughly.

*(c) Washington Post 2023

* Trisha Pasricha is a physician and journalist who writes Ask a Doctor for The Washington Post. He is a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.