A resurgence of high end wooden toilet seats and chemical cleaners may be behind an increase of toilet seat dermatitis, a skin condition once thought to be wiped out in the U.S.A. Recent research has helped point out something that we as physicians may overlook sometimes. Wooden toilets are porous and can not be cleaned as effectively as plastic and may harbor bacterial and fungal growth. Chemicals found in many current cleaning solutions are well known to be irritants. All this could lead to either an infectious or contact dermatitis in the butt and thigh areas, these areas tend to stay a bit moist as well, which further helps incubate microorganism growth.
Here's just a couple basic recommendations to avoid this problem:
- Clean your toilets regularly, but if you are using harsh chemicals, after they've dried, wipe down with water or at least a wet cloth to remove any left over caustic ingredients. You'll have to let the toilet dry first in order for the chemical cleaners to maximally disinfect.
- Stick with the good old plastic toilets which can be cleaned easier and are less allergenic than wooden toilet seats. However, you can always cover the seat as well.
- And a personal caveat . . . avoid using public restrooms if possible :-)