Baths can be very beneficial for HS, however, heat causes inflammation. If you find that baths are causing you problems you may want to follow up with cool running water in your tub and/or a cold cloth or ice packs on your abscesses/wounds after your bath.
For those of you without a tub, there are tub alternatives. Another option is to make moist wet packs using the same ingredients listed below. You can also alternate with cold packs to keep inflammation down.
*Depending on your personal situation bathing could potentially make your abscesses/wounds worse, and in some cases may lead to cellulitis. Please keep your bath short (no more than 20 minutes at a time) and always assess your individual situation.
Apple Cider Vinegar Bath:
While filling your tub with warm or hot water, add 1 to 2 cups of apple cider vinegar. Soak for no more than 20 minutes.
Diluted Bleach Bath:
Diluted bleach baths may help with symptom control for many skin conditions, including HS. Bleach baths shouldn't be used if you have:
Current medications or cosmetics that make your skin thin and that can cause tearing, e.g., anti-aging retinol treatments, topical corticosteroids, or prescription blood thinners
If you have exposed, open, abscesses or wounds, limit your bleach bath to the area(s) of your body that does not contain open wound
You may experience dry skin if you use too much bleach or take bleach baths too often. If your skin is cracked or overly dry, you may want to avoid bleach baths or use an alternative to bleach
Bleach baths should never replace regular bathing hygienic practice
It's recommended that you do a test spot first if you find that your skin is more sensitive and may become too dry or irritated by bleach
Do not submerge your head and be sure to avoid getting the diluted bleach into your eyes
Rinse off with fresh water
The National Eczema Association recommends taking a bleach bath no more than 2 to 3 times per week
Do not use undiluted bleach directly on the skin
Children under the age of 2 should only be given a bleach bath under the advice of a pediatrician and only use 1 teaspoon of bleach per gallon of water
Bleach baths do very little with infections such as Staphylococcus aureus; regular plain water is just as effective
Common beach bath ratio: Add ¼ - ½ cup of common 5% household bleach to a bathtub full of water. Soak just the affected part of your skin for about 10 minutes a maximum of 2 times per week.
Himalayan Salt or Sea Salt Bath:
Fill your tub with warm or hot water. Add approximately ¼ cup of Himalayan and/or Sea Salt. Soak no more than 20 minutes.
Epsom Salt Bath:
1 cup of food grade 100% pure Epsom Salt
Fill your bathtub with hot water - as hot as you can tolerate it. Once it’s about half way filled, sprinkle the salt in and give it a few big stirs with your hand to help it dissolve. Once it's full, get in and submerge yourself to your neck. Soak for at least 20 minutes.
Epsom salt (food grade 100% pure) detox bath:
1 cup of food grade 100% pure Epsom Salt
½ cup baking soda
4 Tablespoons of ground ginger (more or less depending on your tolerance*)
Fill your bathtub with hot water - as hot as you can tolerate it. Once it’s about half way filled, sprinkle the salt in and give it a few big stirs with your hand to help it dissolve. Once it's full, get in and submerge yourself to your neck. Soak for no more than 20 minutes*.
The ginger in this detox bath will make you sweat your butt off! Sweating is one of the best (and cheapest) ways to detoxify, and if you don’t have access to a sauna, this is a fantastic alternative.
Another bonus: It’s a powerful antioxidant with potent anti-inflammatory properties, so it’s amazing for your skin as well.
*If you’ve never done this before, 20 minutes is plenty of time. With the added ginger the bath will cause you to sweat more than usual and it will feel quite hot; any longer may be too intense.
Even after you get out of the bath, you’ll probably continue to sweat (a lot) for the next hour or two, so wear light clothes or a towel so you can easily change.
Just like you would after a massage or sauna treatment, drink plenty of water after.
Content in this article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking treatment because of something you have read on this website.
Written by Denise Panter-Fixsen
Edited by Brindley Kons