Best Hemorrhoidal Wet Wipes Review
After I evaluated hemorrhoidal pads, wipes, and a wiping gel against seven critical parameters, my personal absolute favorites are:
Disclosure: I personally participated in the development of Wipegel and the extensive product testing was to make sure that Wipegel performs better than the classical hemorrhoid wipes. I’m happy to share with you my field notes.
What Are Hemorrhoid Wipes?
At first glance, hemorrhoid wipes look similar to baby wipes.
However, in order to proudly add “hemorrhoidal” to the product packaging, the manufacturer must use one of the FDA-approved ingredients for hemorrhoidal care when making the wipes. Usually, this ingredient is witch hazel.
Therefore, a hemorrhoidal wipe is a wipe that has been soaked in 30–60% of witch hazel, according to FDA regulations.
What’s witch hazel?
Witch hazel is a native North American plant known for its amazing skin benefits.
Witch hazel contains many compounds with anti-inflammatory properties which may have far-reaching benefits for your health.
- It may provide relief for irritated and sensitive skin.
- Reduce itching and swelling associated with hemorrhoids.
- Shrink your pores (witch hazel is a great toner to cleanse your skin daily).
- Soothe your skin and reduce inflammation.
The best thing about witch hazel is that it acts as an astringent: it shrinks & constricts body tissue, therefore it could help “shrink” hemorrhoids.
Witch hazel is widely used in various cosmetic products such as facial toners, lotions, and aftershave products. Folk medicine suggests that witch hazel could be applied to an insect bite and to speed up a minor wound healing. Wonderful plant all around!
What hemorrhoid wipes do?
Hemorrhoid wipes have two most important qualities:
- They are pre-moistened. The moisture acts as a barrier between your tender anus and the cloth (or paper) allowing for the wipe to gently glide and clean. Without moisture, dry toilet paper will scratch the irritated anorectal area.
- Hemorrhoid wet wipes are made with witch hazel. This active ingredient delivers a soothing effect to the inflamed area while wiping.
Some folks also use hemorrhoid wet wipes as a compress (especially new moms after delivery). In this case, a wet wipe is folded and applied to an inflamed area for several hours at a time.
Best hemorrhoid wipes
I compared several products available on Amazon (in hemorrhoidal care section) with witch hazel listed as an active ingredient.
But first of all, what matters in a great hemorrhoidal wipe?
Main qualities of a GREAT wipe
After consulting with a dozen folks that use hemorrhoidal wet wipes I deemed the following qualities as the most important:
Moisture level: Are the wipes sufficiently moist when you use them? This is important since the main reason you need wipes instead of toilet paper is to protect the irritated area when wiping. Dry toilet paper does the opposite and can damage the tender mucous layer exposed to external hemorrhoids. We are looking for gentle, soft to touch, moist feeling!
Flushability: Are they even flushable? How quickly they dissolve in water?
Strength: How sturdy is the wipe when wiping? Does it fall apart?
Size of a wipe: Is the size convenient for wiping? Too small could be tricky to use, as well as a large size might be less manageable when wiping.
Dispensing mechanism: Is it easy to get a wipe out of the container? What about the next wipe? Some containers are just too tricky to deal with.
Price: You get what you pay for, but still, how much per wipe?
Ingredients: What’s in the wipe? Ingredients are very important when it comes to topical products. Your skin is covered by millions of friendly and opportunistic bacteria and you do not want to upset them with harsh chemicals or alcohol. On top of that, if there are any known allergens in your wipes you might end up upsetting your butt instead of soothing.
County of origin: For patriots among us :)
- Preparation H Medicated Wipes
- Fresh Exit, Individually wrapped wipes with witch hazel
Toilet paper gel:
- Hemorrhoidal WipeGel (toilet paper gel)
Wet wipes conundrum: moist or flushable?
Something you come to quickly realize: if a wipe is flushable, it means it dissolves in water, therefore it can’t be too wet when packaged for sale.
Put a piece of wet toilet paper in a ziplock bag and ten minutes later you won’t be able to pull it out in one piece.
Therefore, if a manufacturer makes flushable wipes too moist, by the time they arrive at the customer’s door they’d fall apart from their own moisture.
Which wet wipes are flushable?
In my test I let the wipes to sit in the water (stirred it from time to time to imitate flushing) for two minutes and examined how the material behaved.
In the case with toilet paper, after several minutes in the water, it literally breaks up as you touch it.
However, all other wipes (including flushable) stayed intact for hours after being immersed and spun in the water.
Flushable wipes remained intact for hours after being immersed in water and didn’t lose their strength.
And I’m not alone: Consumer Report failed to disintegrate “flushable” wipes even with more vigorous spinning.
Are Flushable Wipes Flushable?
Flushable wipes are touted as an alternative to toilet paper. Are they really safe for sewers and septic systems…
You might also notice, that some wipe manufacturers instruct you to “flush one wipe at a time”. This is because if two wipes tangle up in your sewer, it will take even longer time for them to disintegrate.
Therefore, do not flush your wet wipes.
The only exception is WipeGel. It is 100% flushable since you add it to the toilet paper.
Flushable wipes: Winners
Wipegel would be your go-to product if you want something truly flushable.
Not a single pre-moistened wipe could guarantee safe flushing (especially, with a long-term use) even if they say so on the packaging.
Which wipes are the moistest?
Moisture is critical to provide a soothing barrier between exposed hemorrhoids and the wiping material.
Pads definitely have the most moisture compared to wipes.
Toilet paper gel is pretty moist as well. I spread it to show how much surface a drop can cover.
Fresh Exit has the least amount of moisture, it took a while before I could squeeze out the first drop.
Pads and toilet paper gel (like Wipegel) provide a moist & soothing barrier when wiping.
The cheapest wet wipes
To find out which wipes are cheaper you simply divide the price per package by the total number of wipes in the package, right? Wrong.
No, the manufacturers do not cheat you. If they say there are 100 wipes in the package, there are 100 wipes, indeed. However, what matters most is whether you can grab a single wipe easily.
Can you pull one wipe at a time?
When it comes to how long the wipes would last, the main factor, surprisingly, is a dispensing mechanism.
None of the solutions besides Fresh Exit and Wipegel allow you to easily grab one hemorrhoidal wipe at a time.
Unfortunately, when you think you are buying 100 wipes you may end up with more like 30.
Moreover, the moister the wipes, the harder it is to separate them.
Since pads are the moistest, it was practically impossible during my experiment to pick up a single pad at a time.
Another factor is the thickness of the material. For example, EQUATE & Medi-Pads are quite thin compared to Tucks and CoolComfort.
No matter how hard I tried, I ended up pulling out 3, 4 or even 6 wipes at a time.
If you can’t pull out a single wipe (or a pad) from the container, you’ll end up using more than you need.
Therefore, dispensing wipes quickly and easily is an important factor in how much money you’ll flush down the drain (or in this case, throw in the wastebasket).
Sure, you can separate the pads or wipes and stick the extra ones back into the packaging. Unfortunately, it also means possible contamination and introducing bacteria into the pile of your fresh wipes.
Ease of dispensing & Price: Winners
Fresh Exit wipes is an obvious winner. Since all wipes are single-wrapped, there is no way you can use more than one unless you intend to. But they are also the most expensive ones.
The next obvious contender for the first place is Wipegel. In the case of Wipegel you have to learn your preferred amount of moisture when wiping and one can go overboard with the first couple pumps, but eventually, there is very little waste. A bottle lasts for approx. 400 wipes, so it turns out to be the most affordable option.
Preparation H, while starts out great, frequently result in two or three wipes being pulled out together and it’s practically impossible to stuff an extra wipe back into the packaging. So on average, you’ll use up ~20–25% more than you want to.
The bottom of the barrel in terms of ease of dispensing/price goes to hemorrhoid pads. All of them are super moist and therefore easily stick together. The better ones are CoolComfort and Tucks since they are a bit thicker.
Therefore, if to adjust the price for potential waste the cheapest option is Wipegel followed by Preparation H.
Fresh Exit is convenient for travel but is also almost three times more expensive.
The strength of the material
Happy to report that after going through hundreds of wipes with all tested products there were no tear accidents.
I tested the products on:
- My own bottom
- My armpits
- My face
- My dog’s face and bottom
- My dog’s paws
- Random pieces of furniture
Also, remember, when wiping, physicians recommend to be gentle and do not rub excessively.
Any brand would do.
In case if you are wiping vast areas, keep in mind that pads are the smallest option available and they are also round.
Pads are just not great for wiping.
Fresh Exit is the largest wipe out there, followed by Preparation H and Wipegel (in this case you are limited to the size of squares of your own toilet paper).
Fresh Exit and Preparation H, followed by Wipegel are the only options that are truly convenient for the task at hand. I would not recommend pads for wiping.
However, if you are using the wipes as a compress, pads would work much better due to their smaller size and increased moisture content.
Ingredients & Country of origin
Presumably, if you are using hemorrhoidal wipes, your butt is not in great shape as is. So you probably don’t want to add anything that could irritate your skin any further.
Couple ingredients to avoid: Methylchloroisothiazolinone, and Methylisothiazolinone (MCI/MI) and alcohol. Some consumers try to avoid parabens and Dimethicone (also called polydimethylsiloxane).
The table below shows the full list of ingredients for each product as well as the country of origin.
The only important remark is for Fresh Exit wipes. The wipes are made in China and are not registered with FDA as a hemorrhoidal product, this is also why the manufacturer does not specify how much (%) of witch hazel is in the product.
1001 uses of hemorrhoid wipes
Hemorrhoid wipes help you to clean yourself after you go to the bathroom when a sitz bath or a shower is not an option. You can also use hemorrhoid wipes to freshen up during the day.
If the only active ingredient in your wipes is witch hazel, you can use these wipes in many ways:
- When you don’t have hemorrhoids but dry toilet paper is not enough to feel fresh.
- Use hemorrhoid wipes for acne. Witch hazel fights acne by drying out excess oil on the skin.
- On your face, armpits, and the rest of the body during hot summer days or when camping.
- If you have a yeast infection, hemorrhoid wipes could help to gently clean up during the day.
- Even on your pets! You can wipe your dog’s butt with a witch hazel wipe, it is not toxic.
My personal absolute favorites for hemorrhoidal care are: