If you are a sufferer of dry, itchy skin you may be interested to know that it could be down to the type of water you have in the area where you live.

The soft water and skin health connection is one that is certainly evident.

Why is this?

If you live in a hard water area, the mineral content of your water supply is very high. Not only will these minerals clog your pores and dry skin, water containing these will also not work too well with soap, leaving a film on your skin which is difficult to rinse away. You may have noticed the soap scum buildup on your shower or bath? Well this is the same scum which is left on your skin so it’s not surprising that this can cause dryness and irritation.

So how can having a water softener installed help?

Soft water does not have the mineral content of hard water so, when you look at the issues raised above, the benefits are immediately obvious. Also, as soft water works far better with detergents than hard water, you can get a better lather by using half the amount of soap, body wash or bubble bath. Washing in soft water will leave your skin feeling smooth and silky often without the need for additional moisturisers.

What about skin conditions such as eczema?

Also known as atophic dermatitis, eczema is a condition which causes skin to become uncomfortably dry, itchy and flakey. Worldwide, 20% of children suffer from eczema with many taking it through to adulthood. There has been a lot of research into how the hardness of your water supply can affect eczema and it has indicated that not only may it be a factor in the development of the condition but it almost certainly has the potential to exacerbate the symptoms. Studies have found that exposure of skin to hard water can increase sensitivity to the kind of irritants found in soap products as the protective barrier is damaged. This can contribute to the development of eczema and mean that sufferers are much more sensitive to the effects of hard water than people with healthy skin.

Whilst there still needs to be continuing research into the effects of water type and eczema the certainly appears to be strong evidence in favour of a soft water and skin health connection. Although soft water is certainly not currently considered to be a cure, it is clear that soft water won’t cause skin irritation like hard water can.