8 Ways to Keep Your Anus Healthy

8 Ways to Keep Your Anus Healthy

You wouldn't think twice about seeking medical treatment for a problem involving your mouth. But when it comes to the other end of your digestive system — your anus — many people shy away from talking to their doctor, even if they wind up developing symptoms.

But the fact is, your anus plays an essential role not only in digestion, but in your overall wellness, too. Taking a little effort to maintain optimal anal health is important for preventing uncomfortable symptoms and for spotting subtle signs of serious problems as early as possible.

At his practice in Deerfield Beach, Florida, Michael H. Tarlowe, MD, offers state-of-the-art care for issues affecting the “other end” of your digestive tract, including painful anal fistulas and anal warts

Here, learn what you can do to improve your anal health and reduce your risks of potential problems.

1. Practice good hygiene

One of the best ways to care for your anus is to make sure to clean it thoroughly after having a bowel movement. Use soft toilet paper and wipe gently. Keeping moist wipes on hand helps, too. Choose wipes that are unscented to avoid irritation, or just use plain water to wash the area.

2. Use gentle bath products

Speaking of keeping clean, be sure to use body wash products that don’t contain harsh chemicals, perfumes, or coloring agents. These additives can easily irritate the sensitive skin around the anus, leading to itching, burning, and other uncomfortable symptoms.

3. Pay attention to subtle changes

When washing, pay attention to any unusual changes in the area, like sore spots or lumps. While most issues are benign, some can be a sign of something more serious, including cancer. 

4. Choose the right underwear

Once you’re out of the shower or bath, choose cotton underwear that’s not tight or binding. Cotton underwear lets your skin breathe, preventing germs from building up. Cotton undies also wick away excess perspiration, another cause of irritation and itching.

5. Eat plenty of fiber

Many Americans eat diets that are very low in fiber, a habit that leads to constipation and hemorrhoids. Filling up on fiber-rich foods, like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans, helps your stools stay soft while promoting regular bowel movements. Fiber helps you manage your weight and manage your blood sugar and cholesterol levels, too.

6. Drink lots of water

Fiber helps promote healthy bowel movements, and fluids do, too. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day keeps your stools soft so they’re easier to pass, reducing the risks of developing problems like hemorrhoids or anal fissures

7. Practice safe sex

If you participate in anal sex, be sure to clean your anus well first, and use ample lubricant to avoid tears and other injuries. Use a condom to help reduce the risk of sexually transmitted diseases.

8. Don’t ignore issues

You wouldn’t think twice about seeking medical care for a problem involving other parts of your digestive system, and you shouldn’t hesitate to seek care for anal problems either. If you notice bleeding, persistent pain, excess itching, unusual discharge, a lump, or any other change in your anus, schedule an evaluation right away.

Anal health is important for your overall wellness, too. If you’re having any unusual symptoms, call 954-210-7127 or book an appointment online with Dr. Tarlowe today.

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