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Can Well Water Cause Eczema

What Causes Infant Eczema

Curing Eczema With H2O – How Drinking Water Can Help Cure Eczema

The causes of infant eczema are varied. Some of the main causes of eczema in infants are:

  • Allergens Exposure to dust particles such as pollens, air pollutants, mold, pet dander can trigger eczema.
  • Water Quality Hard water, which is high in calcium and magnesium, is another major reason of infant eczema.
  • Diet Certain food items such as oranges, eggs or seafood can lead to eczema. Preservatives used in food or food color can also lead to infant eczema.
  • Fabric Fabrics such as lycra or woolens can lead to skin irritation
  • Detergents and Lotions Harsh chemical components in detergents and lotions also cause eczema.

Is It Eczema Or Just Rashes

Parents find it difficult to identify the causes of eczema breakouts as they confuse it with skin rashes. Red, leathery patches on babys skin are the first signs of eczema. The common areas where eczema spreads are folds of skin, nappy area and behind the knees, cheeks, neck folds and joints. Eczema makes a babys skin extremely dry and sensitive. The skin condition comes and goes with varying severity.

How To Combat The Effects Of Hard Water On Your Skin And Hair


Something extraordinary happens when you go on holiday. Your hair is the most lustrous it’s ever been, and seems stronger and more resilient. Your skin is somehow softer, without needing to be duly massaged with lotion. Your complexion? Positively glowing. Of course, snoozing until noon with your biggest dilemma being the choice between a margarita or a mojito does play a role, but otherwise, there’s something in the water.

The UK is home to some exceptionally hard water, with cities like London, Newcastle and Oxford among the worst afflicted. Aside from leaving something resembling tectonic plates atop your cup of tea, limescale and hard water can play havoc with your skin and hair.

From exacerbated eczema to lifeless locks, hard water can be the culprit for a myriad of beauty woes. Vogue investigates how to spot the symptoms, and how to solve them…

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Can Hard Water Contribute To My Childs Eczema

Eczema can be a parents worst nightmare

The chronic, itchy skin rash that affects 20 percent of babies and young children is painful for your child, and a pain for you to deal with. Furthermore, while eczema conditions are known to improve with age, there is no true cure, and its regression is unpredictable in nature.

There are many preventative measures that people practice to mitigate the effects of eczema, or the chances of your child contracting it. Most are related to clothing, detergents, bathing, topical creams, certain diets, and prescription medicine.

But what about the effects of hard water on your babys skin? From the bathtub to the laundry, the water used during these essential life events can have an adverse effect on your child.

New research has shed light on this

High levels of hard water in the Denver Area area are may be associated with atopic dermatitis . According to a new study led by Kings College London, living in a hard water area was associated with an up to 87% increased risk of baby eczema at three months of age, independent of domestic water chlorine content.

Lead author of the study Carsten Flohr, Ph.D. of the Institute of Dermatology at Kings College London, noted the purpose was not to study the causes and effects of eczema, but rather an association of homes that have hard water and the prevalence of eczema within those homes.

Hard water may not be the only issue

Find out about your water

Do Water Softeners Help Eczema Symptoms

Can Drinking Water Improve Your Eczema?

To answer this question, the University of Nottinghams Centre of Evidence-based Dermatology team set up the Softened-Water Eczema Trial , involving 336 children for a 16-week period.

In one of the study groups, an ion-exchange water softener was installed in the childs house, and they were given usual eczema care. In the other group, children received usual eczema care only.

Research nurses, who did not know which children had been allocated a water softener, assessed both groups for signs of improvement to their skin.

The results of the scientific study were that no difference was found between the two groups in terms of eczema severity and there was no difference in night-time scratching or the need for topical creams and ointments.

But an interesting insight is that the researchers found parents were using consistently less of the childs prescription creams than recommended.

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Does Hot Water Make Eczema Worse

A hot shower can help relieve stress and aching muscles, but its not the best choice for people with eczema. Hot water can strip your skin of the natural oils it needs to stay healthy. This can make your skin dry and lead to worse itching and irritation. Additionally, hot water can increase inflammation in your skin. Its recommended to keep your shower or bath temperatures below 86°F .

What The Science Says About Water Softeners

The science indicates that water softeners do not provide any additional benefits over and above the standard treatments for children with moderate to severe eczema.

This study about the effect of water hardness on atopic eczema states that there is no evidence that domestic water softeners improve objective disease severity in established atopic eczema.

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What You Can Do About Hard Water And Baby Eczema

Installing a high-grade Culligan® water softener can ensure the health of your childs skin is at a limited risk.

Furthermore, washing your babys clothes with the rest of your laundry probably wont irritate your babys skin unless he or she suffers from allergies or eczema. However, dont wash cloth diapers along with your regular load, as harsh detergents can cause diaper rash, regardless of water hardness.

Water itself doesnt have an all-encompassing ability to effectively cleanse skin gently. If you are living in a hard water area, consider using a liquid baby cleanser.

Though more studies are needed to attribute the specific contributions of ingredients of these formulations, the correlation between using such a product and your child experiencing less effects of dry skin is positive.

Need more information? Call Culligan of Pittsburgh today for all of your water softening needs.

September 2021hard Water And Atopic Dermatitis In Children

Water Quality Can Make Your Eczema WORSE / Testing Chlorine at Home

There is an association between hard water and atopic dermatitis in infants. Water softeners are probably not a suitable measure to alleviate atopic dermatitis.

The causes of atopic dermatitis in childhood include dry skin and a disruption of the protective skin barrier. This can occur due to genetic predisposition. Environmental factors such as hard water and chlorine can also damage the protective skin barrier.

British and America researchers wanted to determine the degree to which hard water causes children to develop atopic dermatitis. They conducted a search in medical databases for all the studies available on the subject.

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Wild Naturals Eczema & Psoriasis Cream

With too many drugstore products promoting help for eczema and psoriasis when in fact it has more harmful and counterproductive ingredients in them it can be difficult to know what skin care products actually work on skin problems. At Wild Naturals, all the synthetic fillers and harmful additives are far from this brand and boast only what the namesake itself says natural! With manuka honey as the star ingredient in each product, the manuka honey eczema cream works seamlessly to reduce inflammation, soothe irritated skin, heal damaged skin, and provide vital hydration. Aloe vera, shea butter, coconut oil, and more are included as key ingredients to Wild Naturals skin care!

Not only is Wild Naturals true to its promise for promoting healthy, beautiful skin the natural way, each product is also pH balanced to work even better for you! Shop the Wild Naturals store today to finally rise above your eczema and feel the relief you deserve!

Can Hard Water Make My Eczema Symptoms Worse

Eczema, or atopic dermatitis, is a skin condition that causes red, blotchy skin patches, itching, and swelling to develop on your body, particularly around your arms, neck, elbows, and behind the knees . Eczema usually first appears at a younger age, but it can carry into adulthood and become a lifelong condition .

Though there are different types of medications and DIY home remedies that may help relieve itching and reduce flare ups, if your home is using hard water, it can actually make your eczema symptoms worse.

Read Also: Can You Have Both Eczema And Psoriasis

How To Protect Your Skin From Hard Water

  • The easiest solution is to use a water softener which makes the soap easier to rinse off. This way, you wont have any soap residue build-up on your skin.
  • Use soap-free cleansers that are gentle on the skin.
  • You can also keep your shower time brief, and avoid extreme cold and hot water.
  • Use warm water and avoid frequent washing of the face.
  • Dab yourself gently with a towel post washing, rather than a brisk rub down.
  • Applying a rich moisturising body lotion, especially when the skin is still damp, will trap the natural moisture and prevent the skin from getting dry.
  • Those with sensitive or dry skin should use body washes and moisturisers that are fragrance free.

Why Does Hard Water Irritate Skin

Hard Water, Soft Water, Eczema

When hard water dries or evaporates, it leaves behind scale made up of dissolved minerals and rock. If you bathe in hard water, some of this scale may be left on your skin causing dryness and irritation. But another culprit is when soap and hard water mix.

Together, soap and hard water form a film that doesnt rinse away completely. This is the soapy film that causes bathtub rings or deposits on shower doors and curtains, but it also leaves that same residue on your skin and hair. This film often clogs pores and prevents the natural oils in your skin from lubricating your skin and helping it retain moisture. This can leave your skin sticky, dry or irritated.

If you suffer from a skin condition like eczema or psoriasis, hard water can make things worse. Although hard water does not cause eczema or psoriasis, studies suggest that hard water can damage the skin and contribute to the development of chronic skin conditions or worsen symptoms for those who already have a skin problem.

Recommended Reading: How To Treat Eczema Child

Hard Water And Eczema

We know that hot water isnt great for eczema-prone skin because of its dehydrating effects, but what about hard water?

According to researchers from the University of Sheffield and Kings College London, hard water contributes to further damaging the skin barrier. As those with eczema already suffer from a compromised skin barrier, this only further increases the skins sensitivity to potential irritants and allergens.

This increase in sensitivity is associated with a genetic predisposition to a skin barrier defect brought about by mutations in the gene encoding filaggrin. This raises the risk of the skin reacting badly to products it comes into contact with on a daily basis especially those that contain chemicals or toxic ingredients. Many of these things are everyday household products such as soap, shampoo, laundry detergent, and other beauty products.

Two Eczema/psoriasis Aggravators That Almost No One Talks About

If youve followed the above diligently and still are experiencing worsened eczema/ psoriasis it just leaves two things to talk about with regards to your water.

And even if you dont have eczema or psoriasis but are experiencing breakouts of dry skin, rashes, acne from your shower water- it might just be because of the following two contaminants:

  • Hard Water
  • Chlorine and Chloramines

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How Can You Treat Hard Water

As Bedford explained, truly treating hard water can be a costly and labour-intensive process. “If you want to permanently soften the water and protect your whole home, Id recommend getting a professional to fit a filtration system where water enters your house,” said Bedford. If you’re living in rented accommodation, that may not be an option, in which instance Bedford suggested, “There are some quick-fix options, such as fitting activated carbon water filters in jugs, directly under a tap or within your shower.”

Brands like Brita offer a range of tap filtering options, while Waterchef and Rainshow’r supply in-shower options.

Hydration Is Absolutely Key To Managing Eczema So Drinking Plenty Of Water Seems Like A Great Way Of Supporting Your Body To Fight Eczema Right

Does Tap Water Affect Eczema?

At a basic level, thats true: your body needs to be as healthy as possible when its dealing with the effects of a compromised skin barrier. It needs nutrients, vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids to maintain the immune system and battle eczema, so eating leafy, green, nutritious food and cutting out the junk is an excellent start.

And drinking water is a key part of keeping yourself healthy and strong, helping the liver to flush out toxins and supplying the whole body with the moisture it needs. Water you drink does eventually work to hydrate skin cells, via the stomach and liver, but all cells also get the moisture they need from other sources, like fresh fruit, vegetables and other things you eat and drink.

The truth is that there are more effective ways of keeping your skin hydrated than drinking lots of water. Eczema is an issue with the skin barrier function, with dehydrated cells meaning that the barrier against moisture loss and irritants isnt working as well as it should. Finding more direct and immediate ways to lock moisture into the skin is essential.

So regular application of emollients, avoiding dehydrating environments and dehydrating/irritating substances , and keeping yourself generally healthy is even more useful in the fight against eczema than getting your eight glasses of water a day.

Important Note

If you require medical advice we recommend you always contact your healthcare professional.

Find out more on Eczema

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Do Water Softeners Help Eczema

Theres good scientific evidence that children who live in hard water areas are 54 per cent more likely to have eczema compared to children who live in softer water areas. So does this mean that you can reduce your childs eczema by installing a water softener? There is plenty of marketing hype suggesting that water softeners can help to control eczema, but is this actually the case and is as it worth investing in one to control your little ones eczema? ScratchSleeves family have dug into the research and made their decision.

Like 60 per cent of people in the UK, we live in a hard water area so we were intrigued by the University of Nottinghams Centre of Evidence-based Dermatologys Softened Water Eczema Trial which delves into the relationship of hard water and eczema symptoms.

Nottingham is unusual in that one half the town has a soft water supply while the other half has hard water, and researchers from the Centre of Evidence-based Dermatology were surprised to find that primary school children living in the hard water areas were 54 per cent more likely to have atopic eczema than children living in soft water areas. So was hard water causing or exacerbating eczema?

How Diet Affects Eczema

Eczema is an inflammatory skin condition that’s triggered by environmental factors, and it may or may not be inherited, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

While there are many things that can cause an eczema flare-up, diet is one that gets a lot of attention. Flare-ups can range from small patches of dry skin to itchy patches all over the body that can be intolerable. Eczema flare-ups are different for everyone, as are the triggers that can cause them.

The most important point when looking at the link between diet and eczema is the individuality of the trigger, board-certified dermatologist Robin Evans, MD, tells In other words, a food that affects one person may not cause a reaction in another, so trial and error is usually necessary to find a person’s particular triggers.

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How Does A Water Softener Work

Water hardness is primarily caused by calcium and magnesium in the water supply. The water is softened by ion exchange, where the softener almost completely removes calcium and magnesium.

Inside the softener, there are tiny beads of ion-exchange resin, which are preloaded with sodium.

The water passes through the beads and the calcium and magnesium are exchanged with the sodium. The sodium then softens the water.

What Were The Final Results

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There were 6 main takeaways from the study, and here they are without all the heavy science language.

  • There were no clear effects of chlorine levels on skin irritation.
  • Maintaining a pH balance in washing products was found to be a good way of avoiding eczema.
  • Washing with hard water made skin irritation worse for people already suffering from eczema.
  • Washing with hard water increased exposure and deposits of irritant SLS which can cause red and irritated eczema on the skin.
  • In infants, washing with hard water contributes to the early development of eczema at a very young age.

Water softeners can reduce the risk of developing eczema by reducing the irritant magnesium and calcium bits left from washing.

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Hard Water Could Lead To Eczema For Your Baby According To A Study Led By Kings College London Living In A Hard Water Area Was Associated With An Up To 87% Increased Risk Of Baby Eczema At Three Months Of Age Independent Of Domestic Water Chlorine Content

High levels of hard water are directly associated with atopic dermatitis , an itchy inflammation of the skin. Hard water can be a catalyst that triggers this reaction.

Though eczema is largely known as a genetic condition, environmental triggers in household items such as water, detergent, and a mix of the two can cause symptoms.

While it is not known if calcium carbonate buildup is directly linked to causing these issues, or whether the pH levels or other factors at play, what is known is that having hard water is not good for adults, let alone the tender skin of a young child.


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