A Sitz bath involves immersing the pelvic and perineal area into water. It’s used to relieve discomfort from rectal problems, after child birth, and for abscesses in that area. Done correctly it increases circulation, decreases inflammation, cleanses, and relaxes local muscles.
To begin fill your bath with 3-4 inches of water as warm as you can tolerate. A rubber ring in the bottom under your buttocks will improve water flow and comfort. You can buy a rubber ring from a medical supply house or just get a child round float ring and use that. You should void before getting into the tub.
Soak in the tub for a minimum of 20 minutes. Add warm water as needed to keep the temperature warm. If you’re treating an abscess in the perineal area, try adding a few drops of tea tree essential oil, lavender essential oil and eucalyptus essential oil to the bath water. Repeat this procedure three times daily until condition has improved.
The warm water can Increase circulation to the area and help an abscess come to a head and drain, possibly avoiding the need for an incision and drainage by your doctor. An incision and drainage involves injecting the area, cutting it open with a scalpel and packing it open to heal from the inside out. It’s not particularly pleasant but sometimes needed.
Be aware that sitting in warm water may cause vasodilatation of your lower extremities and you may experience dizziness when you get up. Be sure to get up slowly and have your hand on support. A rubber mat in the tub will help prevent slipping and a rubber backed mat should be outside the tub on the floor.
If you’re treating an abscess, be sure to clean the tub with a 10% bleach solution before other family members use the tub and at least one time daily. Also, clean towels and linens in hot water.
Don’t use essential oils on children without researching what oils are safe for children. Any essential oil can cause an allergic reaction so you may want to do a skin test on your forearm before using them in your bath. Wait at least four hours to be certain you are not having a reaction of any kind. It should then be safe to use the essential oil in your bath. Only use 100% all natural and preferably organic essential oils in your sitz bath.
If you’re not getting better or feel your getting worse follow up with your doctor.
This article is meant to be informative and is not medical advice. Follow up with your doctor if you have questions about sitz baths.