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Sitz Bath

A sitz bath is a kind of therapy that involves soaking in warm, shallow water. This therapy can help soothe the skin between the genitals and anus. It can also increase blood flow to these areas.

Your child’s care team may order a sitz bath to:

  • Help with comfort and cleanliness at the start of treatment
  • Treat a skin reaction
  • Improve comfort during bowel movements
  • Reduce discomfort from swelling, hemorrhoids, or diarrhea caused by radiation
  • Lower the risk of infection
  • Help the skin heal

Sitz bath supplies

The hospital care team will use these supplies for your child’s bath:

  • Sitz bath pan
  • Package of povidone-iodine (Betadine®) liquid
  • Bath towel

Sitz bath process

The steps to give your child a sitz bath include:

  1. Fill sitz bath pan half-full of warm water
  2. Measure 5 ml to 10 ml povidone-iodine from the package
  3. Pour it into the sitz bath pan and stir
  4. Help your child sit on the sitz bath for 15 minutes
  5. Rinse the area with warm water after the bath
  6. Help your child gently pat the skin dry, or air dry

Do not use the whole package of povidone-iodine for a sitz bath. Too much may harm the skin.

If your child is allergic to povidone-iodine or if you have questions about sitz baths, talk to your child’s doctor or nurse.


  • A sitz bath is a form of water therapy. It can help soothe the skin between the genitals and anus.
  • Your child will sit on the sitz bath pan for 15 minutes.
  • A sitz bath uses 5–10 ml of povidone-iodine in warm water. Using more than this can harm the skin.

Reviewed: September 2022