Living with eczema isn’t easy – and when you’re showering or bathing with hard water, it is even harder. The minerals found in hard water can damage the skin barrier, which could increase the sensitivity to potential irritants found in everyday washing products. Nothing about that sounds enticing, right?
Furthermore, hard water deposits left on the skin can reduce our defense to outside threats like bacteria or sun burns. This could also contribute to the DEVELOPMENT of eczema! So, what can you do to help mitigate the risks?
Effects of Hard Water on the Skin
New research from the University of Sheffield and King’s College London discovered that hard water can do some significant damage to your skin. When you think of hard water, you probably only think about the effects it has on your dishes or shower walls. No one really thinks about how hard water can impact your skin or lead to eczema. Exposure to hard water can also increase your body’s sensitivity to those pesky, potential irritants in our bathing and cleaning products, like soaps or detergents.
Hard water contains high levels of calcium and magnesium ions that bind to sulfates in detergents and make them insoluble. They stick to your skin which is where the problem starts.
Your skin’s pH is normally acidic, but hard water will actually raise the skin surface pH even higher. This higher shift in pH levels disturbs your skin’s natural barrier to infections and bacteria. Dr. Simon Danby from the University of Sheffield’s Department of Infection, Immunity and Cardiovascular Disease says that it also has the potential to damage the skin’s barrier to the point of developing eczema.
Benefits of a Water Softener
Your skin is a very important barrier for your body against environmental threats. By removing the irritating minerals found in hard water, you are providing your body its best possible opportunity of protection – especially if you suffer from eczema. Individuals with eczema are much more sensitive to the effects of hard water than those with healthy skin.
We offer several different water softening products, from installed water softeners to soft water delivery services, that your family will enjoy for years to come. Ready to learn more? Give us a call or visit our website for more information.