What are tepid baths? What do they treat, and how do they work?
In a tepid bath, the water is slightly cooler than the body’s normal temperature. This can reduce a person’s fever and can treat many other conditions. Anxiety, insomnia, arthritis, and many other things are treated with tepid baths.
Tepid baths are safe and effective, and they often succeed where other treatment fails.
How Hot Are Tepid Baths?
Tepid baths can vary in temperature from anywhere from 75-92 degrees Fahrenheit, or 24-33 degrees Celsius. The water should be lukewarm rather than hot or cold for the conditions tepid baths treat.
Tepid baths are used in a hospital setting or done at home. They can calm a person’s nerves or lower a person’s temperature. The research is strongly in favor of tepid baths for some conditions and mixed for others.
Drawing a Tepid Bath
First, a tub will be filled 2/3 of the way with lukewarm water. Most patients take a warm shower or hot foot bath to warm them up before the bath.
After the warm shower, the patient will get into the tub. They should stay there for 10 or 15 minutes. After the bath, the patient will dry themselves or be dried with a towel.
People who are weakened or in poor health should take tepid baths that are on the warmer side. Sometimes, taking a tepid bath every day can improve a patient’s health.
Tepid Sponge Baths
During a tepid sponge bath, a patient is wiped with wet cloth or sponges. This will cool off the temperature of the patient.
It is considered one of the most effective ways of treating a fever, especially if the fever is 102.2 Fahrenheit or higher. The tepid sponge bath can lower a person’s body temperature and get rid of the pain and discomfort caused by the fever.
How Does a Tepid Sponge Bath Reduce a Fever?
A sponge bath can reduce a fever by dilating blood vessels close to the surface of the skin. This releases heat and lowers the person’s body temperature.
It is often very effective if other treatments fail. It works best for infants and children, who may develop a high fever very fast.
To perform a tepid sponge bath, you need all of the following:
- A basin of 80F to 93F
- A bath blanket
- A thermometer
- Patient gown
- Hot water bottle
- Ice bag
- Bath blanket
- Linen saver pad
Benefits of Tepid Baths
Tepid Baths for Anxiety
Bathing in lukewarm water can calm you down. Adding roughly half hot and half cold water to a tub will make the temperature right.
A tepid bath can soothe your nervous system. Stay in the bath for 5 minutes to at most 15 minutes.
Tepid Baths for Insomnia
Tepid baths may also be great for treating insomnia. In the early 20th century, many doctors used neutral baths to help patients sleep. The water was of a neutral (neither hot nor cold) temperature.
Both hot and cold temperatures were seen as exciting to the nerves. A neutral temperature, on the other hand, produced calming and sedation.
Tepid Baths for Workout Recovery
Bathing in tepid water may be more effective than bathing in warm water for recovering after workouts. After cycling fairly hard and fast (80% of max aerobic potential) for 10 minutes, participants in a study took baths.
Bathing in tepid water for 30 minutes was more effective than bathing in warmer water. Tepid water reduces lactate (which increases during exercise and inhibits it) faster than warmer water.
Tepid Baths for Arthritis
Exercising in tepid water (83F to 89F) can help treat arthritis. People should do a range of mobility exercises in lukewarm water. This reduced participants’ pain and difficulty moving their joints.
Adding Epsom Salts and Sea Salts
Adding epsom salts or dead sea salts to a bath can also help manage arthritis. The research is mixed, but it seems likely that these commonly used treatments are effective.
Epsom salt is not anything like regular salt. It is a mix of oxygen, sulfur and magnesium. Dead sea salts are a mix of different minerals and are found in the dead sea.
Some research shows that inflammatory chemicals decrease and your body’s natural painkillers (endorphins) increase in mineral baths. Many people report that mineral baths work, although the research is not yet conclusive. Any of the following diseases may benefit from mineral baths:
- Knee osteoarthritis
- Psoriatic arthritis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
What is Hydrotherapy?
Hydrotherapy is medical treatment involving water. There are many different types of hydrotherapy, only one of which is using lukewarm water to reduce fever.
Many diseases are treated with hydrotherapy. Forms of hydrotherapy are used to treat everything from septic ulcers and burns to arthritis and fibromyalgia. The water is not always the same - it can be hot or cold, flowing or staying in the same spot.
Not all hydrotherapy uses bathtubs. The methods are very different depending on the goal of the therapy. Some of the different treatments involve:
- Therapy tanks
- Swimming pools
- Whirlpool spas
- Hot tubs
Key Takeaways to Tepid Baths
Tepid baths are baths slightly below your body temperature, such as 80 or a little over 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
Tepid baths are commonly used to treat fever, especially in children and infants.
Tepid baths may treat arthritis, especially if epsom salts and dead sea salts are added to the bath.
Tepid baths are a form of hydrotherapy. Hydrotherapy is any form of water-based medical treatment. It takes many forms and treats many conditions.