Polished Anus Syndrome…yes, it’s a thing


A Delaware dermatologist is seeing more patients complaining about rectal skin problems.

Perianal dermatitis is a topical irritation when people wipe poorly, infrequently, or overzealously.

Symptoms are a blotchy, red, irritated rectum.

The American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons describes Polished Anus Syndrome when people wipe so violently trying to clean their rear.

“Over cleaning or aggressive wiping in the anal region is a cause of Pruritis Ani (itchy anus),” said the group’s Dr. Megan Cavanaugh. “The Polished Anus Syndrome is associated with aggressive cleaning, with lots of different soaps or wet wipes.”

Cavanaugh says detergents and scents can be irritating.

ASCRS cited excessive wiping can lead to micro-tears in the anal tissue, causing bleeding and discomfort.

To avoid Polished Anus Syndrome:

  • Give up wet wipes. The pre-moistened cloths, have been associated with allergic reactions
  • Invest in a bidet
  • Try paper towels and water
  • Dry thoroughly but gently
  • Wipe from front to back, pushing waste away from the groin

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