Sunday, 11 September 2011

Bubble Baths and Urinary Tract Infections

When I was in my late teens I loved having decadent bubble baths every other day.  I would pour the bubble bath lotion in creating loads of fluffy white bubbles, add a dash of baby oil (made with mineral oil) or one of those little round scented balls where the skin would melt away and the scented oil would ooze out into the water, moisturising my skin and making me smell nice while I soaked.  (Or so I thought.)

I would soak in my bath while listening to my Taylor Dayne album, singing my guts out.  When the album was finished I dragged myself out of my enjoyable bath, all pruned and relaxed and smelling good.

I kept getting urinary tract infections one after the other after the other.  Finishing my course of antibiotics only to get yet another bout of UTI.  Again!  After so many infections and loads of pain and discomfort later when I next visited the doctor I asked him why I was getting reoccurring infections.  He asked me if I was having baths or showers.  Baths.  Was I using any products in the bath?  Yes, I tell him, and proudly list my vast collection of bath goodies.  He told me to stop using the bubble bath and lotions and potions in the bath.  I didn’t stop altogether, though I did start having baths less often.

So what did this doctor know that I didn’t know?

Turns out that many experts are all too aware that the ingredients and chemicals used in bubble baths and other bath products are known to cause urinary tract infections.  Manufacturers are even starting to put warning labels on some bubble and bath products stating: “avoid prolonged exposure, may cause urinary tract infection”.
Horrifying isn’t it!  Even more horrifying when you consider we use these products on our babies and children.

Does this mean never enjoying another bubble bath as long as I live?

No, not quite, so don't despair.
  
* Use your bubble bath lotions and potions sparingly and don’t remain in the bath for too long – particularly with children and babies (i.e. more than 10mins)

* Instead of adding bubbles to your bath opt for some natural bath melts, milks or bath salts, bath bombs or even a dash of natural massage oil to perfume the water and your body.

* Use a bubble bath that is SLES, propylene glycol and paraben free.  This may not bubble as profusely as its SLES cousin, however, it cuts down on the amount of potentially UTI causing chemicals you and your children are exposed to.

* Avoid bath products made with mineral oils.

* Add a sachet of rose and/or lavender petals to the warm bath water.

* Wash your children using natural soaps and nothing else.  If they must have some bath time fun invest in natural skin care to look after their gentle skin.

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