Helping Dry Skin Conditions

Research links eczema and hard water

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    Scientists from King’s College London and the University of Sheffield have released a study that shows hard water damages the skin, thereby increasing the risk of infection and potentially contributing to the development of eczema.

    Eczema and dry skin conditions


    The study, funded by Harvey Water Softeners, backs up what we’ve believed all along; softened water can make a significant difference to your susceptibility to some very common skin conditions, including eczema, psoriasis and other forms of contact dermatitis.

    The same minerals in hard water which create limescale were proven to increase the skin’s sensitivity to irritation. The really interesting news here is that when the researchers used a twin-tank water softener, they found softened water could significantly reduce the harmful effects. There were even indications that it could reduce the risk of developing eczema in the first place.

    The findings from this study could make a real difference to anyone living with a chronic skin condition.


    The NHS website cites hard water as “a common cause of irritant contact dermatitis” – it also includes “soaps and detergents” in that list. So it seems abundantly clear that switching to softened water is a major factor in reducing dry, irritated skin conditions and leaving you with softer, more comfortable skin.

    With a Minimax water softener all the water in your home is softened, as the unit is attached to the mains supply. The shower, bath, sink, washing machine and dishwasher will all use soft water, leaving your hair and skin smooth, your clothes softer and your cutlery and crockery glistening and less streaky. You’ll also save money by using far less detergent and washing products every time you use them – in fact, you could save up to 50% on your household bills every month.

    Soft water helps childhood eczema


    In the UK, as many as 1 in 5 children are affected by eczema. The findings of this new research strongly suggest that hard water is contributing to that statistic. As well as the water itself being abrasive due to the minerals it contains, there are the washing products you use.

    With hard water you have to use more product to get a good lather. That means more soap, more shampoo, more shower gel… Ingredients in these products can irritate the skin, so the less you need to use the better. Furthermore, hard water combines with the products to create a residue which is almost impossible to rinse completely off your skin. All of these factors worsen the effects of dry skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.


    Research and studies are all very well, but the proof of the pudding is in the eating – or rather the proof of the water is in the washing. Here’s what some actual users of Harvey water softeners have said about the improvement in their dry skin conditions:

    “My son has been growing out of his eczema, but since we have had our Harvey water softener it has certainly reduced on his fingers. My wife also suffers with dry skin and has seen an improvement. In fact, she no longer wears rubber gloves when washing up. And my skin is no longer dry.”

    Adrian, Didcot, Oxfordshire.

    “I have suffered with a skin irritation on my body for some time, which has now disappeared completely since having my water softener installed.”

    Andrew, Margate

    “I moved from a soft water area, Devon, to a hard water area, Southampton. Six months after moving I developed eczema. A specialist at the hospital suggested hard water was the cause, so I looked into water softeners. My eczema resulted in dry, sore infections that meant I couldn’t do washing, cleaning or even bath my son. Hard water made life really difficult, I lived with the painful condition for 10 years and didn’t think anything could help. My water softener cured it; I had previously spent so much money on creams and treatments, but now I don’t need to use any. Having a skin condition really does negatively affect your life and a water softener completely cured it for me.” 

    Carly, Southampton

    Try it for yourself

    Of course, we’re not claiming softened water is the answer to every case of dry skin or dermatitis, but until you try it for yourself you’ll never know. Get in touch with us today to arrange a free demonstration and find out if a Minimax water softener can help you.