Your Mucous Membranes Healthy
By Dr. Ben
wanted to elaborate on this topic to address some of the more common
questions that I've received in response to my post on why you shouldn't
use soap to clean your anus or urethral opening.
membranes line the following areas of your body:
* Urethra (where your urine comes out of)
* Lips and oral cavity
* Middle ear region
* Nasal passageway
mucous membranes that line each of these regions are continuous
with your skin. All of your mucous membranes line areas of your
body that are exposed to the outside world and/or internal organs.
you imagine washing your mouth out with soap every morning? How
about your nasal passageways or the undersides of your eyelids?
Assuming that you've tasted soap by accident at some point in your
life, I trust that you agree that soap and mucous membranes aren't
a good match.
membranes are not meant to come into regular contact with soap,
or for that matter, any detergents that are hydrophobic enough to
dissolve nonpolar molecules of grease (excuse the jargon from high
skin can handle some contact with soap because sebaceous glands
that line your skin secrete a steady supply of sebum, an oily substance
that helps create a waterproof barrier and protect you against infection.
Constant production of sebum allows your skin to survive regular
exposure to soap, though excessive use of soap (and all factors
that contribute to dehydration of your body) necessitate use of
moisturizers to prevent your skin from becoming too dry.
mucous membranes don't produce and secrete sebum to offer protection
against the drying effects of soap and detergents. This is why regular
contact with soap can cause a wide variety of health challenges
in and around your mucous membranes, some of the more common challenges
being cracks around the corners of the lips, anal fissures, lichen
sclerosus, and a tendency to experience recurrent infections around
experience has been that very few people know to avoid using soap
to wash their private areas. So I make it a point to share this
information with just about all of my clients, especially those
who have young children to care for.
parents and grandparents know that in cleaning a baby that has pooped
in his or her diaper, the instinct is to use soapy water to thoroughly
clean the entire groin region, especially the perineum and anal
sphincter. Unless these areas are being moisturized with a non-toxic
moisturizer after every such cleaning, it's almost a certainty that
itchiness, dryness, and/or chronic inflammation will ensue. I believe
that this is the main reason why so many babies and toddlers instinctively
scratch at their anal sphincters - they are itchy from excessive
adults, young children, and babies alike, the best cleaning agent
for private areas is warm or hot water, and if needed, a small towel
that has enough texture to help remove waste and grime.
you're out and about and have to clean a poopy bum, moist wipes
are an effective cleaning solution that shouldn't lead to excessive
we're on this topic, one other bit of advice to parents and grandparents:
Don't take it for granted that your children instinctively know
to wipe from front to back after a pee or poo. You must teach them
to always wipe from front to back to minimize the risk of having
bacteria from the rectal region create a urinary tract infection.
Though more common in girls because of the difference in anatomy,
it's not unheard of for a boy to experience a urinary tract infection
due to "back to front" wiping.
from front to back after pee or poo. Write it on the kitchen board
or better yet, on a sticky that's posted by every toilet used by
your youngsters until it's habit.
share this information with family and friends who may not be aware
of these tips on self health care.
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