Is your skin itchy or burning after wiping yourself while in the bathroom? You might be wondering if these could be signs of an allergic reaction. But how can you be allergic to toilet paper?
Toilet paper contains chemicals that may cause vulvar irritation. Rash symptoms such as itchiness, burning sensation, and pain in the area can be very uncomfortable.
If you’re worried about experiencing one of these symptoms, continue reading.
Table of Contents
How Toilet Paper Allergy Happens
The vagina is a delicate part of the body that is also sensitive to chemicals. While you may not directly use the latter on your skin, products such as toilet paper come in contact with the said body part.
“Can toilet paper irritate your vagina?” Yes, unfortunately. While it doesn’t mean that you should stop using tissue for general hygiene, you should watch out for these symptoms:
- Itchiness, usually continuous
- Burning sensation
- Pain and swelling
- Vaginal discharge
We listed common chemicals found in toilet paper that may cause these rash symptoms along with discharge to occur.
1. Fragrance and Dye
Toilet paper irritation can be caused by the toilet paper’s fragrance and dye, which can disrupt the normality of the pH level (potential of hydrogen).
They may cause other serious infections, such as vulvitis, and the usual signs include discharge and itching. As a response, you must avoid toilet paper with fragrance and coloring, especially if you use it on sensitive areas.
2. Chlorine Bleach
We all know that bleach is used to lighten, and manufacturers create white toilet paper through chlorine bleach (unless they disclose that they don’t!).
Chlorine, in general, affects the pH balance as well as the good bacteria in the female genital area. We can say that toilet paper for sensitive vag is a big NO since good pH balance and good bacteria is necessary to keep the part healthy.
Formaldehyde is a chemical used to improve the strength of toilet paper so it doesn’t tear or crumple when exposed to liquids. However, this can also cause skin irritations.
Rash from toilet paper can be caused by formaldehyde, which is why you should avoid toilet paper that contains this chemical (as well as chlorine bleach). The whiter, thicker, and stronger ones usually have this chemical.
The thinner, grayish, and less expensive variants are the best toilet paper for sensitive vag since they are less likely to contain these chemicals.
4. Toilet Paper Lints
Some brands are just linty and leave those particles when you wipe. A vaginal rash from toilet paper is usually the result, which causes extreme itchiness and a puffy vagina.
If you’re experiencing this, then switch to better brands. Prolonged exposure to lint may actually cause urinary tract infection (UTI), which can be dangerous.
Toilet Paper as Sanitary Pads
You shouldn’t make this a habit. You can get an infection from using toilet paper as a pad, so it is not recommended by experts.
As discussed, toilet paper has harmful chemicals, and using this on your period as a pad poses health risks such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which is the infection of the women’s reproductive organs.
Use sanitary pads; they are affordable. Plus, they are safer and more hygienic for menstrual periods.
Fissures in the Vagina
A not-so-gentle usage of toilet paper can cause micro cuts and tears in your vagina. Remember to dab and not rub
“So this is why it feels like paper cuts when I wipe.” You’ve probably been wiping your vag harshly with toilet paper which caused actual cuts, so one day, when you wiped it again, it felt really painful.
Some Diseases That Toilet Paper Can Cause
We have discussed how toilet paper can irritate you down there, and we also mentioned the following consequences of toilet paper irritation, which can lead to severe diseases if not treated properly:
- Rash allergic reaction such as itchiness, puffiness, and burning sensation
- Disrupted pH balance
- Fissures such as micro cuts
- Urinary tract infection or UTI
- Pelvic inflammatory disease or PDI
Vaginal yeast infection is a fungal infection that is a common effect of toilet paper allergy. It is connected to rashes or an abnormal pH balance.
Discharge and itchiness that can be more severe are the usual symptoms of yeast infection in women, along with pain and swelling if the infection is complicated.
Don’t worry—yeast infections are treatable with proper medication, especially when you consult your gynecologist immediately.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is the Best Toilet Paper for Sensitive Skin?
If you went to the bathroom and discovered that you’re suddenly allergic to toilet paper, you need to switch.
Toilet paper that is less processed—with little to no harmful chemicals such as chlorine bleach, fragrance, and formaldehyde—is a perfect choice.
Bamboo toilet paper is usually hypoallergenic, although you still want to check the ingredients and materials used in manufacturing.
- Bamboo toilet paper vs regular – Which is a better choice?
- Detailed comparisons between hemp vs bamboo toilet paper
What Is the Worst Toilet Paper for Allergies?
There are a lot of discussions about this on Reddit, and it turned out that many people are allergic to Charmin toilet paper.
Charmin Ultra Soft crumbles and leaves lint that causes itchiness. The thicker variant also leaves you itchy down there, as they most likely contain formaldehyde.
In general, avoid buying scented and “ultra soft” labeled ones, as these are the worst toilet paper for allergies.
How Do You Treat Toilet Paper Rash?
Topical steroids can be used to treat irritation from toilet paper, but you must ensure that you follow your doctor’s prescription.
We do not recommend self-medication as you might not know which steroid to pick in terms of strength and how to use it correctly.
Can Tissue Paper Cause Allergies?
The same with toilet paper; you can also be allergic to tissue paper. The early signs are rash symptoms, and tissue paper contains chemicals that may cause contact dermatitis.
Avoid brands of tissue paper that have scents. You don’t need a fragrant tissue; you just need something hypoallergenic for wiping. Another tip is to pick a brand that only performs minimal processing in their tissue paper products.
When it comes to hygiene, tissue is essential for us. But the feeling of itchy or swollen genitalia is not normal, so we ask, “Can you be allergic to toilet paper?”
Toilet paper irritation is caused by chemicals found in the product itself, such as chlorine bleach, formaldehyde, fragrance, and coloring or dye. These chemicals can cause itching and pain, leading to yeast infection, among many other infections.
That is why you must carefully pick your toilet paper brand, such as bamboo ones that contain less to no chemicals and are lightly processed.