Can Hard Water Cause Eczema?

New research says hard water may be a contributing factor in the development of chronic eczema.

If you just moved to a new place and notice your skin has become dry and itchy, you may be experiencing eczema caused by hard water. While a water filtration system with a softener can fix these issues, many homeowners don’t realize why their skin feels like sandpaper at first. Unfortunately, your home’s water quality can be part of the problem.

Eczema is a chronic skin condition that results in a red, itchy rash and scaly skin. Those with this condition are more sensitive to poor water quality, including hard water.

If you have hard water in your home, you probably have noticed that your skin is constantly itchy and dry, but this doesn’t necessarily mean you have eczema. For those with this skin condition, installing a water softener filtration system may provide some relief.

Does Hard Water Cause Eczema?

About 31.6 million Americans suffer from eczema, and a study found that 90 percent of homes in the US also have hard water, according to the EPA. However, research doesn’t show that hard water is a direct cause of eczema yet. Rather, hard water can rapidly exacerbate eczema and increase its development.

The real cause is the pH level of hard water. New research noted that highly alkaline water with a pH over 7 can increase alkalinity in your skin as well. Since skin naturally has a lower acidic pH level, hard water disrupts your epidermis layer. Over time, hard water damages your skin’s barrier, which leaves you susceptible to eczema.

While hard water may not cause eczema, it’s definitely a contributing factor in why you or child’s eczema has gotten so bad in your new home. According to research from University of Sheffield, the first year of your life is the most important for your skin development. If your child develops eczema from an early age, studies have shown that hard water may be one of the reasons. However, it could also be a sign of poor water quality or contamination.

It’s best to test your water and see what’s causing these issues, as well as install a water filtration system that can prevent hard water and contaminants from poisoning your body slowly.

Why Hard Water Hurts Our Skin

Studies show that hard water contains high amounts of calcium and magnesium. While these are healthy minerals to ingest, they are not good for your skin.

These minerals not only clog pores, but the residue can linger on your body and cause dry skin. This effect is multiplied when you combine with body washes and soaps.

Would a Water Softener Help Eczema?

Recent research showed that soft water is much better for your skin overall. However, there is no specific study on whether softened water can eliminate eczema. Rather, soft water could provide relief for chronic eczema sufferers since it removes magnesium and calcium. Water filters with softeners can be installed at your water supply so that you remove hard water completely from your home. As a bonus, soft water can improve your hair texture and skin tone, too.