My Daughter Excessively Wipes Herself to the Point She Cries: Advice?

QUESTION:

"Just wondering if anyone’s daughter has gone through excessive wiping. Crying after they wipe and wipe and still feel ‘wet’ even though they are dry.

One pediatrician said just ignore it it’ll go away… but it’s hard in the morning when you are trying to leave for work and school and they feel like they need to keep wiping.

Went for a second opinion, an older pediatrician said it was anxiety and she’s seen it before and it usually goes away. This started in January/February of this year. Anyone experience this and if so what steps did you take? Did it go away? Tia!"

RELATED QUESTION: How Can I Teach My Daughter to Wipe Correctly?

TOP ANSWERS (AS SELECTED BY MODERATOR):

“Put some corn starch on the toilet paper when wiping? It sounds to me like an obsessive-compulsive disorder. Seeing a mental health professional might be needed if the issue persists or she develops other ‘ticks.’ OCD isn’t just one certain behavior, it comes in many different forms.”

“Figure out the anxiety. School problems, being rushed to get out the door, is someone touching her there, bubble baths are irritating, laundry soap or softener not rinsed out well or changed, does she have a urine infection, wearing a bathing suit all the time can cause yeast and urine infections. I’m a retired pediatric by the way. If your insurance or pediatrician have a nurse line, call them for further advice and follow up. Something is bothering your little one.”

“I haven’t been through this but maybe a panty liner would help her feel more dry.”

" Maybe she could use a hairdryer on low heat after an initial wipe. That would be gentler to her privates until you can get to the root of the anxiety. BTW, I think it’s normal for kids, girls especially, to use tons of TP when they’re learning; not sure how old your girl is. Sending hugs to you both & hoping this gets resolved quickly. Parenting is not for the faint of heart!"

“Sounds like my daughter, she has been doing this for a good few years. We’ve had her checked and samples taken and all came back fine. She has anxiety to the point if we go anywhere she panics and the first things she wants to know is if there will be toilets. I sat her down and had a good talk about how delicate that area is and how it should naturally feel there and not to excessively wipe as she will make herself sore and get water infections. She’s coming up to 11 soon. I’ve started buying her little panty liners that she can wear so she feels more secure to go out/school it’s helped a little. I remember going through the same emotions when I was younger. Sit her down and have a good talk to her to help her understand her little body a bit better.”

“I have the same issue and was told it’s because I’m diabetic and I’m eating too many sweets and my Urgent Care doctor gave me a pill and it helped, but no matter how much I wipe I feel like I’m leaking. It’s very annoying but I have to constantly wipe.”

“My daughter recently turned 5, she was extremely bad for this around age 4. She still is like this, but not as bad. She will wipe with a wet one and then dry, then get more and dry a second time. She will still complain if her underwear feels wet at all. I think it’s just something they go through, but honestly I think it would be uncomfortable to, so I just make sure she’s dry. Usually the second “dry wipe” she is good to go! Good luck to you.”

“My daughter did this for awhile. She was in a rush and also just wanted to be clean. Switched to super soft TP and also talked to her about how to wipe properly, how much toilet paper to use, and why she needed to be gentle (she was hurting herself) and it was a good time to throw in a general private part safety conversation too. Monitored her wiping habits for awhile after or reminded her to wipe gently. It all worked out. GL!”

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I haven’t been through this but maybe a panty liner would help her feel more dry

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Maybe just grab some cheap wash cloths from the dollar store and let her wipe with dry ones. Or try boy short underpants instead of regular panties.

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Put some corn starch on the toilet paper when wiping?
It sounds to me like an obsessive-compulsive disorder. Seeing a mentor health professional might be needed if the issue persists or she develops other “ticks”. OCD isn’t just one certain behavior, it comes in many different forms.

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I was this way. And still somewhat am. I am 27

My mother called me out on it recently when we did a buddy bathroom trip while out and about. She said it drove her crazy. I never realized it was an issue, I totally thought it was normal. To this day I will still wipe ALOT

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Could be a tic disorder due to anxiety. Did it start when Covid first started?

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Or some other change in her routine?

Buy flushable wipes. Explain that they are moist ( wet) but that she will be clean after. A lot of it is the idea of being dirty.

I did this as a child, I remember even folding tissue and pressing it down there against the area and leaving it because I didn’t like how I felt moisture. I guess I thought it was pee maybe, idk, but I never told my mom I was doing it until she saw me one day and told me not to.

Figure out the anxiety. School problems, being rushed to get out the door, is someone touching her there, bubble baths are irritating, laundry soap or softener not rinsed out well or changed, does she have a urine infection, wearing bathing suit all the time can cause yeast and urine infections. I’m a retired pediatric by the way. If your insurance or pediatrician have a nurse line call them for further advise and follow up. Something is bothering your little one.

9 Likes

I wpuld take the child to a pyschiatrist.

I did this as a kid too. I still sometimes do, but as an adult I have a reason. I have multiple chronic illnesses that make my stomach messed up all the time. I mostly grew out of it by the time I was like 13

Maybe she could use a hair dryer on low heat after an initial wipe. That would be gentler to her privates until you can get to the root of the anxiety. BTW, I think it’s normal for kids, girls especially, to use tons of TP when they’re learning; not sure how old your girl is.

Sending hugs to you both & hoping this gets resolved quickly. Parenting is not for the faint of heart!

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I feel my daughter (6 yrs old) wipes to much. After she pees she holds the toilet paper there and wipes inside herself. At first I was like…what are you doing? She told me she doesn’t want the pee to drip on her. If she gets one drop of pee in the inside of her underwear she wants to change them because she doesn’t like the wet feeling. I would have to pack extra underwear in her backpack when she went to school because if she dribbled in her undies she would complain to the teacher until I came and got her to change. After the 2nd time if that happening I just started packing her extra undies. If I’m in the bathroom with her and she’s wiping I usually have to tell her that that’s enough she’s clean and to stop wiping.

I would buy flushable wipes or wipes (and get her to put it in a little bin beside the toilet). The wipes will clean her but also not cause irritation from the constant wiping. Also look into panty liners, they are thin pads that stop the feeling of wet discharge against the skin.

My youngest is like that. It takes forever, but I just thought she will grow out of it😔 she will take like ten min to wipe when she just peed and also when drying herself after a bath.

My daughter did this for awhile. She was in a rush and also just wanted to be clean. Switched to super soft TP and also talked to her about how to wipe properly, how much toilet paper to use, and why she needed to be gentle (she was hurting herself) and it was a good time to throw in a general private part safety conversation too. Monitored her wiping habits for awhile after or reminded her to wipe gently. It all worked out. GL!

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Have her checked for a UTI. My daughter did this all the time when she was 6. She didn’t have any other symptoms. Called Dr and they diagnosed her with a severe uti.

I did this when I was a little kid for like a year and finally my mom had to come up with a little dance pee pee dance where I would wiggle my butt after I wiped ( I think to air the area out) and after she figured out the dance i never had a problem The pediatrician said it was a mild form of OCD. I did the same thing with washing my hands and thinking my hands weren’t clean.

My daughter recently turned 5, she was extremely bad for this around age 4. She still is like this, but not as bad. She will wipe with a wet one and then dry, then get more and dry a second time. She will still complain if her underwear feel wet at all. I think it’s just something they go through, but honestly I think it would be uncomfortable to, so I just make sure she’s dry. Usually the second “dry wipe” she is good to go! Good luck to you :purple_heart:

I went through this when I was little and when my mom took me to the dr I was wiping too hard. It’s just a phase.

Set a timer for 30 seconds so she can see the timer count down. Let her know in advance she can only wipe for 30 seconds. When the timer goes off it is time to stop and go one with the day

After she pees and before she wipes have her empty her bladder more. Leaning forward and backward on the potty to empty her bladder all the way. Then have her wipe a couple times. We also brought an extra change of undies and bottoms with us Incase my daughter felt wet and didn’t like it. She hated to be wet from any water or anything.

I have the same issue and was told it’s because I’m diabetic and I’m eating too many sweets and my Urgent Care doctor gave me a pill and it helped, but no matter how much I wipe I feel like I’m leaking. It’s very annoying but I have to constantly wipe.

Sounds like my daughter, she has been doing this for a good few years. We’ve had her checked and samples taken and all came back fine. She has anxiety to the point if we go anywhere she panics and the first things she wants to know is if there will be toilets. I sat her down and had a good talk about how delicate that area is and how it should naturally feel there and not to excessively wipe as she will make herself sore and get water infections. She’s coming upto 11 soon. I’ve started buying her little panty liners that she can wear so she feels more secure to go out/school it’s helped a little. I remember going through the same emotions when I was younger. Sit her down and have a good talk to her to help her understand her little body a bit better xx

had the same issue with a little one taught her to pat not wipe and it worked well is she old enough to explain to her that wiping will chaffe her skin and make it hurt

The times this has happened to my daughter has been when she has a UTI!! she will continually feel “wet” and it’s because she was having the feeling she didn’t fully empty her bladder, or she was feeling a sudden urge to pee again right after. Haven’t heard of the anxiety part though, but I can absolutely see that being something legit.

7 Likes

Use wet wipes instead of toilet paper as it’s way less abrasive and you know she’s clean. Then use a diaper type barrier to relieve any discomfort. Excessive wiping cause abrasions. Use a small panty liner so she feels confident she’s not leaking and monitor the pad to see if indeed she is or isn’t leaking.

6 Likes

Teach her to pat dry instead of wiping dry. Wipes are great too.
Have her checked for a UTI.
Continue to fight doctors for an answer. You’re doing great!

Have you noticed an increase of discharge? Maybe that’s the wetness she feels? It may be normal. Some girls/women have a lot of discharge but it could also mean Bacterial Vaginosis or a yeast infection. Both need medication to get rid of. Sometimes there aren’t any symptoms of either thing.

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I don’t think baby/wet wipes will work since she doesn’t like feeling wet. She may have a UTI or possible abuse. I went through this as a child. I didn’t feel “clean” and I would excessively wipe to the point where I would actually cry when I had to pee.

I’m 29 and currently dealing with this anxiety :woman_facepalming:t4::woman_facepalming:t4: this excess wiping thing literally came out of nowhere

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Yes. My daughter has reoccurring UTIs. Unfortunately she drips at times and she HATES it.
I’ve taught her to just pat dry and we use A&D ointment when needed.

Perhaps getting a bidet might help. A different kind of cleaning with less chance of irritation.

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Maybe try giving her a pantyliner. If its anxiety it might hell to have that barrier for her undies.

I would definitely get her checked for a UTI. My niece did this and she had a UTI.

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You don’t say how old? Perhaps a panty liner will hel confidence building that no matter what you have a liner that will absorb any drips ? That may help.

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Is it possible someone is abusing her

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Has she had her urine checked.

One thing not listed is a yeast infection

My daughter would use so much toilet paper my husband would have to fish it out to be able to flush. It’ll stop, eventually.

Get baby wipes ti try

This happened with my daughter and it ended up being a serious issue. After a couple weeks, I finally looked at her private area. Her labia minora were fused together with only a little opening towards her pubis. Urine was being trapped and would drip out as she walked. A quick surgery and she was back to normal. But it was crazy and unexpected.

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Just read an article on something like this. I wonder if this is a similar situation. I read that excessive wiping can cause an irritation especially if you use wet wipes.

Apparently there is good and bad bacteria in that area and if you wipe too much it causes an imbalance in the natural biome killing the good bacteria. Too much of the bad bacteria causes a rash and pain. It’s similar to the good and bad bacteria in the gut.
Perhaps for awhile use a simple cloth and warm water with a gentle pat, pat.

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2 Likes

My daughter does this. She also has polakuria (spelling). Basically a sip of water feels like 32 oz so she is always worried she will pee on her self and there is a strong urgency on needing to go then if there is any wetness, such as the natural moisture of the vagina she panics she has peed on herself. It gets worse just before she gets sick. It does get better and more sporadic. I had my OBGYN (at a prgnancy check up) talk to her about the moisture being natural and that it shouldnt be bone dry down there. And that wiping that much can cause rashes and infections

It may sound weird but I used to have dreams when I was little of the toilet paper unraveling until there was non left and I’d wake up sweating feeling like I couldn’t breathe… anxiety sucks!

Anxiety will come and go. I would think that if anxiety was the problem this wouldn’t go on on a daily basis for months. I’d get a 3rd opinion… even a 4th or 5th opinion until a doctor takes her seriously and makes sure nothing is physically wrong.

My daughter did this when she was small. I had to break her from it. I just explained to her that she was clean and dry enough and had to just keep telling her that until finally she got it and quit. She would almost use a whole roll of toilet tissue

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I’d say get opinions until a doctor takes it seriously. Anxiety and OCD is serious stuff. Not bad nor to be ashamed of but if that’s the case, best to nip it in the bud before it progresses. To me, that is what it sounds like. But that’s just going off what was said and not being a doctor. Hope you get it sorted out soon! *Coming from somebody who has suffered severe anxiety and OCD. My OCD would be the most random stuff. But it’s called obsessive compulsive for a reason. :pensive:

No idea her age but perhaps a natural panty liner?. Explain to her you use them and toss a bit of safe powder in as long as drs rule out nothing physical.

Make sure she is using a fragrance, color free Toilet paper. Also no baths only showers and a very mild bath soap. I had all kinds of problems when I as a kid and finally started different ways of cleaning down there.

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My son had this issue when younger and later was diagnosed with OCD anxiety.

Sounds similar to those who feel they need to continually wash their hands. That also is based on being anxious usually something has triggered it, an unkind word or words,about being stinky or making them feel dirty in the extreme. Wet wipes are like magic, and take this away, so fast, after a dry wipe. Reassurance,and explaining that helps

I’m not sure I understand what is happening.

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Give her a panty liner maybe it will make her feel better

Could be a yeast infection or uti

Do they exam her? My daughter actually has a discharge. She can feel. Her ph is very sensitive. Fruits lots of juice sends her little bacteria into overdrive… maybe she IS feeling something but because it’s inside you can’t actually see?.. I wish you the best cuz it took us a while to figure out what wad going on with ours.

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I have found that if any of my daughters took bubble baths it caused them to get UTI’s. Just a thought.

Please ask questions regarding sexual abuse. I went thru that while I was being abused by a very close family member.

Have you looked into vulvovaginitis? This may sound crude but I would thoroughly examine her vagina area…it could be as simple as a uti but as bad as possible abuse.

Most likely infection due to stress,try to keep clean and dry no baths only showers dye and perfume free soaps loose clothing and maybe even eating plain white yogurt to balance the bacteria down there. And keep going to a dr

Better to buy those white washcloths at WalMart, they have a 14 pack for just a few dollars.

As an OCD personality myself I would agree there is an anxiety issue that needs controlling to prevent further issues. I have friends who wash hands and feet raw and its no laughing matter. I would get her guidance from a licensed psychiatrist to give her the best chance at being "normal " with her peers as she grows up.

My daughter does this when she poops. She has been diagnosed with OCD. We go through at least 10 rolls a week…more if she’s home all day instead of at school or my mom’s. I haven’t found a way to stop it. Even if I say she’s clean she will keep wiping till her brain says she is. I can’t get mad because she can’t help it. It’s a issue at school as well. She takes about 20 mins to use the bathroom when she poops because of the excessive wiping and then the handwashing. I have notified her teacher but last week there was a sub who told her she needed to stop playing in the bathroom. She was in years because the whole class laughed at her.