Hard Water And Eczema – The Truth About Eczema Revealed

Hard Water And Eczema – The Truth About Eczema Revealed

Hard Water – The Truth Revealed

Hard Water And Eczema: It’s Something In The Water

The truth about eczema and the effects water has on your skin and eczema condition.

Hard water damages our protective skin barrier and could contribute to the development of eczema, a new study has shown. In this article, you will find the truth about hard water and eczema and the effects it can have on your condition.

Researchers from the University of Sheffield and King’s College London have discovered that exposing the skin too hard water damages the skin protective barrier – which your body uses against outside threats such as harmful bacteria or sunburn – and increases the sensitivity of the skin to potential irritants found in everyday wash products such as soap or washing powder.

Hard water contains high levels of calcium and magnesium ions that bind to surfactants such as sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium lauryl ether sulfate (SLES) – which act as detergents or wetting agents – making them insoluble, so they precipitate onto the skin.

Can Hard Water Affect Your Skins pH

Skin pH is normally acidic but hard water has high alkalinity which means it can raise the skin surface pH. A shift towards alkaline pH disturbs the skin’s natural function as a physical barrier and leaves it prone to colonization by potentially pathogenic bacteria which can cause infection.

You can measure your skin’s pH with a home test kit available on AMAZON click here!

Lead author of the study, Dr. Simon Danby from the University of Sheffield’s Department of Infection, Immunity and Cardiovascular Disease, said: “By damaging the skin barrier, washing with hard water may contribute to the development of eczema – a chronic skin condition characterized by an intensely itchy red rash.

“Patients with eczema are much more sensitive to the effects of hard water than people with healthy skin. This increase in sensitivity is associated with a genetic predisposition to a skin barrier defect brought about by mutations in the gene encoding filaggrin. Filaggrin is a structural protein important for the formation of our skin’s barrier to the outside environment. Up to half of all people with eczema carry a filaggrin gene.”

New eczema research on Hard water – the truth about eczema

He said: “This new study reveals the mechanism by which calcium and magnesium ions in hard water, surfactants, and filaggrin interact to damage the skin barrier unlocking new information about how exposure to hard water could potentially contribute to the development of eczema.”

Symptoms of eczema (also called ‘atopic eczema’ or ‘atopic dermatitis’) include inflamed, dry skin and often secondary skin infections, which can affect any part of the body and every aspect of a person’s life – both physically and emotionally.

The new study, which was funded by Harvey Water Softeners, is published in the Journal of Investigate Dermatology. The team of researchers examined whether removing the calcium and magnesium ions using an ion-exchange water softener could mitigate the negative effects of hard water on the skin.

They found that using a water softener reduces the harmful effects of surfactants, potentially decreasing the risk of developing eczema.

Co-senior author of the study, Dr. Carsten Flohr from the St John’s Institute of Dermatology at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and King’s College London, said: “One in five children and one in 12 adults in the UK suffer from eczema, costing the NHS well over £500 million annually.

Young skin is more susceptible

“It is during the first few days and months of life that our skin is most susceptible to damage and most at risk of developing eczema. That’s why finding out if you have hard water is so important because it’s one trigger point for eczema that you can simply and effectively avoid.

Test your water here! Test strips are affordable and easily available on AMAZON.

“For that reason, we are now embarking on a pilot trial to investigate whether the installation of a domestic water softener around the time of birth can prevent skin barrier breakdown and eczema in those living in hard water areas.”

The Softened Water for Eczema Prevention (SOFTER) trial will be undertaken by Dr. Flohr and his team from King’s College London and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre at Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in collaboration with the University of Sheffield team and colleagues from the University of Dundee, the Centre of Evidence-Based Dermatology at Nottingham University, Imperial College London, the National Institute for Health (Bethesda, USA), and Amsterdam Medical Centre.

PH Test – for Eczema

Can A Water Softener Help Your Eczema?

A recent study into hard water and eczema and the relationship showed that 54% of children are more likely to have eczema, compared to children who live in softer water areas.

Many of the manufactures of water softeners in the home will tell you that you MUST install one today. We never listen to all the marketing hype and decided to look into the benefits ( If there is some ) to installing a water softening system in your home.

Over 55% of people living in the UK, A full and in-depth study by the University of Nottingham’s Centre of Evidence-based Dermatology into the relationship between hard water and eczema symptoms. Nottingham is unusual in that one half the town has a soft water supply and 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% more likely to have atopic eczema than children living in soft water areas. So was the local water causing or exacerbating eczema?

How did researchers test water softeners?

A team was formed and trails started named SWET – Softened water eczema trial

This trial was carried out in 2011-2012 but still holds true today, No further trial has proved the results incorrect. The trial was conducted with 336 children over a 16 week period.

hard water eczema study min

The group was split into two and one groups were told to continue using their normal eczema treatment and daily bathing and showering routine and the other group to do exactly the same, with one small difference. This group had a water softening system installed in their home for drinking, bathing and washing clothes.

The results

PH Test – for Eczema

Research nurses were assigned to follow up on the children at 12 weeks and 16 weeks. All the children had signs of improvement but it wasn’t accredited to the Water.

Unfortunately, the results showed no significant signs of improvement for either group nor did their itching reduce. The results were very disappointing, However, a number of parents said they were using fewer prescription creams than normal.

So Why Do 54% Of Children In Hard Water Areas Suffer More?

The study concluded that water softeners do not improve eczema conditions over the standard treatments for children with moderate to severe eczema. So how come children in hard water areas are 54% more likely to suffer from eczema?

One explanation that seems likely is that hard water reduces the effectiveness of detergents and washing powders that people use which means they needed to use more. As we know, detergents and many ingredients commonly used in toiletries are known to aggravate eczema and trigger flare-ups. The idea has always been to reduce eczema trigger points and irritants.

Hard water forces us to use more detergents and chemicals to get rid of the white scales deposits that hard water leaves behind and that’s why those children’s eczema was worse.

Final thoughts

The truth about eczema is often confused and mislead. Reading studies and result from research like this is key to finding a suitable product or cure for your eczema.

So, would we suggest you rush out and spend a few hundred pounds/Dollars on hard water softening machine? Hmmm NO! Not really.

We just don’t think there’s enough evidence to suggest that Hard water is detrimental for eczema sufferers. In fact, some reports say that due to a large number of natural minerals in hard water it may even be good for your skin.

I think it’s all about how your own body reacts to the water, I know that when I go on holiday abroad my skin is always better and I put that down to two things. The sun and the salt in the water that I shower or bath in. I’m convinced it helps. So much so that I now use Dead sea salts in my baths.

Read- Dead sea salt baths for eczema.

If you think that hard water isn’t good for your eczema then go ahead and buy one. A very simple and inexpensive way to reduce the hard water that comes into contact with your skin would be to fit a shower head attachment that filters hard water. Available on AMAZON.  No amount of money would stop me if I thought it would help me and my son.

If you liked this article, you may also have interested in Eczema And Hot Showers – They Don’t Like Eachother!

You know your body best and every step you take towards easing your eczema is a step in the right direction.

Good luck in eradicating as many irritants as you can to help reduce your eczema.

Let us know how you get on.

Eco Washing Egg Updated!

Eco Washing Egg Updated!

Eco – Egg Reviews

Have a read of these blog reviews from real people who have used the Eco Egg?

Buy Eco Washing Eggs Here!

Eco Egg – Laundry Egg

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Lasts For Up To 720 Washes! That’s approx. 3 Years Of Washing!

Ecco Egg

Have you heard of the brand Eco Egg? It’s a company that focuses on making and selling products that are good for skin and the environment – perfect if you or a family member has sensitive skin or eczema. They don’t use harsh chemicals or test on animals and it’s manufactured in the UK – read more about that on their website Eco Egg. I first started using an Eco laundry egg after visiting the home show and I got a bit of a discount (not as good as the one you can get on the 3rd of December) and I really loved the idea of washing our clothes with fewer chemicals, it was hard to convince MM that it would do as good a job and I’m not sure he fully come round to the idea (being stubborn meRead The Full Review eco-friendly, laundry & detergents, eco+egg

Laundry is something that is done daily, if not twice daily in this house. Like most, my children seem to get everything on their clothes, and due to Theo’s dust mite allergy I find myself washing duvets, bedding and sofa cover regularly. The team at Eco Egg very kindly sent us their Laundry Egg to try – an alternative to the potent detergents that could irritate Theo’s delicate skin. The Laundry Egg is supported by Allergy UK and the National Eczema Society and is also dermatologically tested. As soon as our Laundry Egg arrived I opened the packaging and set it up ready for the first test – I was surprised to find small bags of pellets within the packaging. I soon realised these little pellets were theRead The Full Review

Eggsterminator Scratch Free Cleaning Sponge

Found these little beauties. I suspect they are about to revolutionize my washing up and cleaning habits. Eco-Egg Eggsterminator Sponges are my latest find. I hate washing up and have a dishwasher at home but in the caravan, it’s a necessary task, unless of course, you can eat out all the time. This sponge/scourer is multi-functional. Used in hot water it’s soft and squishy like your traditional washing up sponge. In cold water, it’s harder, yet kinder, than any other scourer I’ve ever used. No chemicals are required to remove the toughest stains, just cold water. Cleverly designed too. Its eyes make perfect finger holes, it’s cleverly shaped haircut means it can get into the toughest of cornersRead The Full Review

EcoEgg Dryer Eggs

EcoEgg Dryer Eggs Review and 50% Discount! EcoEgg has a product for sale called dryer eggs which I had heard of but never tried so when I was asked to review them I was super excited! As a family of five (soon to be six) we tumble dry a lot of clothes, and the dryer eggs shorten drying time by up to 28 minutes!!cbd oil biotech


eco egg With as many loads of washing as I dry, imagine the money (and time) I would save?! I have to admit I was a little skeptical about the reduction in drying time and if it would work as well as it claimed. The first thing I want to make clear in this review is that it really did improve my drying time!!!!! I was amazed and also really happy, I was able to lower the drying time by 20 minutes for each load!Read The Full Review

Now that we’ve got a daughter, who is learning to feed herself, laundry is a big chore in our home. The laundry basket feels like it is always overflowing. We live in a flat and even using my tips for drying clothes in a flat isn’t always enough. We’ve been ensuring that we regularly get the washing on, to make sure that we keep on top of it. One thing that keeps the washing machine busy is stains. We’ve tried quite a few stain products now, with mixed success. When the great people at Ecoegg contacted me to review a few of their laundry products I jumped at the chance! The Ecoegg laundry egg was the one I was most excited to test! We received the Ecoegg stain remover (usually $12.25) and the 720

Spotted this little gadget in a recent online sale and thought ‘Why not? Let’s give it a try!’ A spring blossom scented Laundry Egg that replaces your regular washing powder. I’m a little bit choosy, normally,  about my choice of detergent. I have quite sensitive skin on my face and take medication for it so have to be quite careful as some detergents cause it to flare up. With no harsh chemicals and it’s hypoallergenic it’s worth a shot. The Laundry Egg claims to be An AllergyUK product that is kind to the skin, your environment, and your pocket. With mine claiming to have approximately 720 washes within the little pink egg it does seem too good to be true. That’s nearly 3 yearsRead The Full Review

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Conclusion: Eco Washing Egg For Eczema

The Eco Egg if perfect for anyone who suffers from Eczema or any other skin problems. It eliminates the risk of washing powder reactions.A safe and natural way to wash and dry your clothes.

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Other Top Picks

Conclusion: eco washing egg for eczema

The Eco Egg is perfect for anyone who suffers from Eczema or any other skin problems. It eliminates the risk of washing powder reactions.A safe and natural way to wash and dry your clothes.