Is Your Tap Water Causing Dry Skin?

Is Your Tap Water Causing Dry Skin?

Have you ever moved from a place with soft water to hard water - and noticed a difference to your hair, or skin? You might be onto something, a new study in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology reports.

(P.S. Find out how to test for hard water here.)

In my Nashville dermatology practice, I often hear patients who moved to a place with hard water saying that they noticed their skin getting drier. Before, I wasn’t always convinced because there hasn’t been enough research to prove that may be the cause, but more and more studies like this one are starting to shine a light on what may be a real cause for concern.

By testing 80 people by washing their hands with soft and hard water, it was found that their skin was indeed very dry in comparison to those who used soft water, and caused additional irritation to those dealing eczema. It was evident that hard water did impair the skin barrier, especially for those with eczema. Moreover, the researchers concluded that living in a hard water area could mean an increased risk of developing eczema much earlier.

This also brings us to the products being used in combination with hard water: even greater barriers to the skin were found for those who use wash products that produce foam and suds. The combination of hard water and foaming soaps is harsh on your skin, which is why our Nashville dermatologists always recommend sudless soaps, such as the Cerave Hydrating Cleanser.

So, what can you do to mitigate these effects if you live in a place with hard water? Thank god for water softeners! Do your research and hunt around for one that works best for you, but keep in mind that it may or may not end up being fully effective if you have resistant eczema. If you have young children or are planning to in the future, it’s also a great first step to help you prevent the development of infant eczema very early on.

Are you struggling with managing your eczema due to hard water? Visit us at Skin Solutions Dermatology in Nashville, Franklin, Columbia, Smyrna, Hendersonville or Pulaski to chat with our amazing team of dermatology specialists! Take advantage of our online booking system and book an appointment today.

Source:  Journal of Investigative Dermatology

Related Buzz: Can Hard Water Impact Your Child’s Eczema?, Infant Eczema: Preventative Measures to Take Before Birth

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Dr Pena

About The Author

Dr. Pena is a Board-Certified Medical Dermatologist, Mohs skin cancer surgeon, and cosmetic dermatologist. Her mission is to educate the diverse patient populations she serves, and their communities, on the importance of skin care in decreasing the risk of skin cancer and minimizing the early signs of aging. She founded Skin Solutions Dermatology with numerous clinics in Nashville, Tennessee and surrounding Middle Tennessee.

Dr. Julia Pena, MD