Is your skin feeling a bit uncomfortable and itchy lately? It may be eczema. While there are many potential triggers for this condition, hard water in the home could also be to blame.
Contrary to popular belief, hard water does not lead to eczema, nor does switching to soft water cure it. However, research suggests that soft water is beneficial for skin health. By removing excess minerals through a water softener, your household’s water becomes gentler on the skin and less likely to cause irritation during bathing and household chores. This creates a healthier environment for you and your family’s skin.
In our blog post, you’ll get all the details on how hard water might cause or worsen eczema symptoms – plus ways to keep your skin healthy no matter what type of H2O is running through your pipes.
What Is Hard Water
Hard water is water that contains high levels of two minerals: calcium and magnesium. Sadly, it’s an all-too familiar situation in the U.S., as more than 85% of households are faced with hard water issues.
When hard water passes through your pipes, it can leave behind stubborn mineral deposits that lead to plumbing nightmares – from clogged drains and backed up pipes to residue buildup on fixtures. Not only can hard water leave an unpleasant residue on your skin, but it can also make your laundry and dishes feel gritty or soapy during the washing process.
Read my comprehensive article about what hard water is.
What is Eczema?
Eczema is an all-too familiar skin disorder that affects individuals of any age. This irritating skin condition presents with red, itchy patches that are often inflamed and can be quite painful to deal with.
Experiencing eczema can be difficult, especially for children’s sensitive skin. Fortunately, there are a variety of options to reduce discomfort from this condition: topical creams and moisturizers often provide relief, along with lifestyle changes that minimize possible triggers. For more severe cases, anti-inflammatory medications or light therapy may also help lessen symptoms.
Does Hard Water Cause Eczema?
Although there is no concrete scientific proof that hard water can cause eczema, some specialists believe it could have a link. Hard water has the potential to dry out skin and make it more sensitive – both of which are triggers for an eczema flare-up. Keeping your skin moisturized may be key in managing this condition if you live with hard water.
Chlorine is a major concern when it comes to hard water – its drying effect may leave your skin feeling parched and vulnerable to itchiness and redness. What’s more – if you already have eczema, the chlorine in hardwater could trigger a terrible flare-up!
Effects of hard water on skin
Hard water has the potential to leave your skin feeling anything but soft. Mineral deposits can strip away natural oils and cause dryness, tightness, itchiness – not ideal! Chlorine found in hard water may further irritate or worsen eczema flares making it difficult for you to stay hydrated and comfortable.
Here are some of the negative effects hard water can have on skin:
- Dry, tight feeling
- Eczema flare-ups
- Stripping away of natural oils
Hard water makes eczema worse
Hard water can be a significant contributor to worsening eczema symptoms. Its high levels of minerals strip away the natural oils from the skin, leading to dryness and itchiness that can make managing this condition even more difficult.
Chlorine is added to tap water, and many cities have hard water. This disinfectant can also irritate and dry out skin, leading to redness, itching, and eczema flare-ups.
Furthermore, hard water can hinder the efficacy of skin moisturizers, making it more problematic for eczema sufferers to retain their skin’s hydration levels and guard against harm.
Ultimately, hard water is detrimental to eczema sufferers and it’s imperative that one takes the necessary steps to limit their exposure. Keeping your skin adequately hydrated also aids in maintaining its healthiness.
Children and Eczema from Hard Water
Astonishingly, it is believed that around one-fifth of children globally suffer from eczema.
The effects of hard water may not be direct, yet it appears to influence the development and magnify symptoms associated with eczema. This discovery is particularly important for young children, as contact with hard water during the early stages of life may result in eczema.
Further research is required to better understand the relationship between hard water and eczema.
What Can You Do About Hard Water and Eczema?
While hard water is not definitively linked to eczema, there are ways to lower your chances of having this skin condition.
Install a water softener
Need a way to reduce the hardness of your water? A water softener is here for you! It eliminates minerals like calcium and magnesium that contribute to hardening in your plumbing system, making it easier on pipes and fixtures.
Softened water offers a plethora of benefits for the skin, including improved hydration and reduced irritation from hard water that can help to reduce the severity of an eczema outbreak.
Read my ultimate guide to water softeners.
Use a shower filter
Have you ever felt like your skin was constantly dry and itchy despite using all the best moisturizers? It might be time to consider investing in a shower filter. These clever devices can remove hard minerals such as calcium and magnesium from your water, making showers much gentler on your skin – leaving you feeling soft, hydrated and refreshed!
Installing a shower filter is an easy and effective way for individuals with eczema to drastically reduce the chances of their skin becoming dry, itchy, and irritated: ultimately lessening the frequency of flare-ups. Thanks to the softened water, your skin can better absorb moisturizing products for an even more hydrated complexion.
Read my article about hard water filters for showers.
Struggling with hard water’s effects on your skin? A simple citrus rinse can be effective in helping reduce irritation caused by minerals found in hard water. All you need is freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice combined with a cup of regular tap water – just apply to the affected area after showering or bathing!
Hard water shampoos and soaps
Hard water can contribute to the development of eczema in some cases, but luckily there are special shampoos and soaps designed especially for use with hard water! These products contain ingredients that bind to minerals found commonly in hard waters, meaning your skin won’t be exposed to these harsh compounds.
These products also rinse off better than conventional soaps and shampoos, reducing the amount of residue that can be left behind on the skin and potentially cause irritation.
Taking proactive steps to reduce your risk of developing eczema can make a huge difference! Installing water softeners, using shower filters and hard-water shampoos/soaps are smart ways to avoid the skin irritation caused by harsh minerals in tap water. A citrus rinse is also an effective solution for providing moisture and hydration that may help keep pesky flare ups at bay – so you can enjoy healthy & happy skin every day!