Using a sitz bath for hemorrhoids can often help relieve the pain and inflammation associated with the condition. To take a sitz bath, you should submerge the affected area under water for about 30 minutes. Then the affected area should be gently dried, and medicated wipes or aloe vera gel should be applied.
Purchasing a sitz bath is relatively easy, since they are typically sold from medical supply stores, drugstores, and online. They are usually made of plastic or porcelain, with plastic being far less expensive. Some have attachments to allow fresh water to flow in, while others are simply buckets. In fact, if you want to avoid the cost of a sitz bath can use a home bathtub or a bucket and experience a similar effect.
To use the sitz bath for hemorrhoids, put the bath over a place where excess water can easily drain, ideally the toilet, so that extra water can flow out into the bowl of the toilet. From there, it can easily and hygienically flush down the drain, with little to no clean-up.
Warm or cool water — not hot — can be used. Add enough water to the bath so the affected area, even as far up as the hips, is submerged. Although warm and the cool water do different things, both will treat the symptoms associated with hemorrhoids. In fact, the warm and cool water baths can even be alternated.
Warm water causes the blood vessels of the hemorrhoids to dilate and increases the blood flow. It also helps relax the muscles surrounding the rectal area. As a result, the hemorrhoids may not be as painful. If the water is cool, there will be less blood flow through the blood vessels, reducing inflammation and pressure.
After the water is added to the bath, simply relax and soak in the water. Most people feel relief after about half an hour. At that time, the hemorrhoid area should be gently dried, using a patting motion. Medicated pads may also be used and soothing gels, such as aloe vera, may be applied to the affected area. Although using the sitz bath for hemorrhoids may help relieve the symptoms, it will not provide a lasting cure for the condition.