Sitzbath treatment:

Take A Seat! Sitz Baths Ease Hemorrhoid Discomfort

A sitz bath is a wonderful natural treatment for hemorrhoids. A sitz bath involves immersing the bottom and hips in warm or cool water for 15-20 minutes at a time.

• A sitz bath is helpful in cleansing and providing pain relief in the affected area. It also promotes blood flow to the rectal area.

• A sitz bath in warm water is good for cleaning and increasing blood flow. The water should be quite warm but not hot enough to burn.

• A sitz bath in cool water is good for reducing swelling and easing pain. Sitz baths can decrease inflamation of hemorrhoids and reduce discomfort.

sitz bath
© iStockphoto.com/Milan Vasicek

Sitz baths can be used with just water but many people add salt or baking soda to the water. These ingredients can help clean the affected area. Soaking for 15-20 minutes at a time, three times a day, can be beneficial. It should be done after every stool to help keep the area clean.

After taking a sitz bath get up slowly and, if possible, let the area air dry or carefully pat dry with a clean cotton towel.

You can take a sitz bath in a regular bathtub or by adding approximately 5 inches of water to the tub and squatting with your buttocks fully immersed in the water. Don't add soap because it can irritate the area.

Squatting for 15-20 minutes can be difficult or uncomfortable for many people. An alternative to a sitz bath in the tub is to buy a special device that fits over the toilet bowl. Many people find this method much more comfortable and is probably safer for the elderly. Plastic sitz baths are inexpensive and can be found in most drug stores. The sitz bath is a bowl that sits on top of your toilet seat that has a cutout to allow overflowing water to spill into the toilet bowl. It's also a good idea to have something to read as you will be sitting for a long time and you will want something to occupy your mind.