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Sitz bath


Sitz baths are a form of hydrotherapy (water therapy), which increases the blood flow to the pelvis and abdominal area. Perineal hygiene is the primary reason for using this type of bath when the area is tender and inflamed.

A sitz bath may be ordered for your child for any of the following reasons:

  • Use at onset of treatment for discomfort and cleanliness
  • Use at any time for any skin reaction in the perineal or perirectal area
  • Discomfort with bowel movements or continuous discomfort related to perineal inflammation, hemorrhoids, and radiation-induced diarrhea.
  • Sitz baths help lower the risk of infection and aid the healing of skin.

Sitz bath supplies

When your child is an inpatient, the nursing staff will gather these supplies for your child’s bath.

  • Sitz bath pan
  • Package of povidone-iodine liquid
  • Bath towel

Sitz bath steps

  1. Fill the sitz bath pan half full with water that is warm to your touch.
  2. Measure out 5ml to 10 ml povidone-iodine from the package. Pour the povidone-iodine into the sitz bath pan. Stir.
  3. Help your child sit on the sitz bath at least 15 minutes.
  4. Rinse off the povidone-iodine with warm water after the sitz bath is complete.
  5. Help your child gently pat the skin dry or expose the area to room air.
  6. Helpful Hint: Do not use the entire package of povidone-iodine for one (1) sitz bath. Too much povidone-iodine in the bath may cause skin injury.

If your child has a documented allergy to povidone-iodine (Betadine®) or if you have questions about sitz baths, please talk to your child’s nurse or doctor.


This document is not intended to take the place of the care and attention of your personal physician or other professional medical services. Our aim is to promote active participation in your care and treatment by providing information and education. Questions about individual health concerns or specific treatment options should be discussed with your physician.

St. Jude complies with health care-related federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.

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