What is a sitz bath?
A sitz bath is a shallow bath of warm water that is used to help relieve the pain and discomfort associated with hemorrhoids as well as keep the area clean and promote healing. A sitz bath is one of the most common and effective home treatments doctors will recommend to people suffering with hemorrhoids.
The soothing effects of a sitz bath can be felt almost immediately and should be one of your first step in getting rid of your hemorrhoids.
So how does a sitz bath help hemorrhoids?
Many of the benefits of a sitz bath come from the reduced inflammation and swelling that the warm soothing water and epsom salt help promote. Reducing the inflamed blood vessels is a key part of relieving the symptoms that come with hemorrhoids.
Taking a sitz bath will also help clean and sanitize the area. Cleanliness of the anogenital area, or in layman’s terms “where the sun doesn’t shine”, is a must have step in clearing up hemorrhoids.
How to make a sitz bath
The name “Sitz Bath” is born from the German word for “seat,” which understandably means that a sitz bath is one you’re supposed to sit in or on.
The goal is to submerge the area affected by hemorrhoids in water or a solution. You can take a sitz bath with just warm water, but many professionals will recommend adding epsom salt for additional benefits.
There are two standard ways you can create a sitz bath at home.
Making a sitz bath in a bathtub.
Making a sitz bath at home is a very easy process.
- First, you’ll want to make sure your bathtub is clean. Using a cleaning product with a sanitizing agent, you’ll want to give your bathtub a good scrub down. Since we are attempting to heal damaged tissues, we want to give our bodies a nice and clean environment to heal.
- Be sure to give your bathtub a GOOD rinse to make sure there are no cleaners or detergents remaining.
- Get your water temperature to warm. You don’t want it so warm that it cause discomfort.
- Fill your bathtub with enough warm water to cover your hips. It’s during this time that if your adding epsom salt or herbs to your bath, do so now to to get a nice mix.
- Soak in your soothing bath for 15-30 minutes, adding more water if necessary to keep the temperature warm.
- Use a clean cloth to pat the area dry. If the area is too sensitive, lie down on a towel and allow the area to air dry.
Making a sitz bath over a toilet.
Preparing a sitz bath on a toilet can be done using a special bowl that can be found and most local drugs stores like Walgreens or CVS.
The instructions can vary between kits you may find, so be sure to read any accompanying instructions before getting started, but generally a sitz bath over a toilet goes like this:
- After lifting both the toilet lid and seat, place your sitz bowl on your toilet.
- Some kits come with a bag and bowl, follow the instructions that came with your kit to properly set that up.
- Fill the bowl or accompanying bag with warm water and any other solutions your want.
- Gently lower yourself onto the bowl and allow your affected area to soak for 15 to 30 minutes, adding more warm water as necessary to keep the temperature warm.
Using a bowl to prepare a sitz bath is ideal for anyone who doesn’t have a bathtub and for times you need a sitz bath during travel or work.