When it comes to treating eczema in kids, bath time can be one of the most helpful opportunities to let the skin get deep moisturization and some much needed healing help. A good soak in the right kind of water can help water penetrate deeply into skin tissues so that the skin can heal better and stay hydrated for longer. Temperature is an important factor, as are the oils and other additions you can make to your bath – but there’s more. Many parents are now looking at whether or not water softeners can help make bath time more effective, and if hard water makes flare-ups happen more often. Today, we’re going to explore this topic and look at the difference between hard water and soft water for treating eczema.
What’s In Your Tap?
Hard water is a simplified term for the ‘as is’ water that comes out of the tap. Hard water is usually stocked with minerals and additives, and it’s what most people are accustomed to. If you don’t have a water softener that needs regular maintenance and filling, chances are you’ve got hard water in your home.
The reason why many people believe hard water is a trouble maker is that it’s high in a variety of minerals like calcium and magnesium which could lead to drying of the skin. It may seem strange, but even a soak in a warm tub can actually leech moisture from the skin if the mineral content of that water is high, as in the case of hard water.
While there are no real health risks to using natural hard water, people with skin issues like eczema could find that the extra mineral content plays havoc on their skin.
Soft water is water that has been run through a water softening device. This device uses salts to pull excess minerals from the water so that it’s left softer, less mineral dense, and friendlier to soaps. Soft water creates a bigger lather in soaps and detergents and may dry out more thoroughly from fabrics.
Since soft water doesn’t contain the number of minerals that hard water does, many people believe that it’s more soothing and hydrating to the skin.
Recently, many studies have been done that explore the health benefits of soft water on skin conditions like eczema. While some people feel that a small change happens, research shows that the investment in soft water treatment machines may not be worth the small to negligible effect they have on overall skin health.
While it’s true that soft water makes soaps and detergents go further and may help lengthen the life of many fabrics, it probably doesn’t do much for skin.
Do you have a preference for hard or soft water?
If so, share with us in the comments below!