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Hard Water & Eczema


There is a wealth of anecdotal evidence that soft water has a beneficial effect on dry skin conditions such as Eczema. Until recently the medical profession has dismissed this. There have been a number of studies that indicate that either living in a soft water area or using a water softener can be help with dry skin conditions.
The Quality Water Company work very closely with the National Eczema Society skin days to try and help alleviate the effects of hard water on dry skin conditions.
Below are some quotes from our customers who suffer with dry skin conditions such as eczema.
Mrs Darlington
“In the first week [since installing the water softener] we noticed dramatic changes in Hollie’s skin – in fact the eczema seemed to improve almost immediately!”
“We know it is the softener as her skin flared up after 6 weeks because we had not remembered to put the salt in! We would certainly recommend The Quality Water Company”.

Mrs Butt
Burton on the Wolds
“After 15 months of eczema misery we installed a water softener for Dominic.
We noticed an improvement within 2 weeks and after one month Dominic was discharged from father hospital treatment.
We heard about softeners through the national eczema society and contacted the quality water company who were very knowledgeable, friendly and professional”.
“Please pass my name onto anyone who may be considering trying a softener but is unsure”.
Mr and Mrs Popham
“It [skin rash and irritation] has now cleared up completely and I do not need medication any longer.” I noticed the difference within 2-4 weeks.
I found the Quality Water Company relaxed, helpful and informative, nice people”.

Mrs Godby
“The redness and irritation has reduced quite dramatically.”
I noticed a difference in 5-7 days. Nicky & Paul at QWC had lots of useful info
And were thoughtful and considerate. I recommend softeners to everyone
with or without eczema the water is great”.

Mrs Clark
“The other benefits [of having a water softener] besides nice soft skin and hair are that my laundry is softer, I use less washing powder and conditioner.”
“No-one living here has any skin complaints, however my daughter who comes to visit has eczema, she has said how good her skin feels after showering or bathing at our house.”
“The Quality Water Company is the ONLY water softening company I would recommend.”
Mr Modha
“My mum has benefited from the [soft] water. Her hands no longer blister as before.”
“My skin does not itch so much during and after my bath but I have not seen a huge improvement. A friend told me about softeners and I also would recommend to people who have problems with their skin”.
Mr Paine
“Bathing for my son has become less irritable, he will happily play in the bath now.”
“We noticed a gradual but noticeable improvement. We heard about softeners through the eczema society”.
Mr Samwell
“The workmanship was excellent and the whole process of planning, installation and after-sales was entirely painless – just how it should be, but so often isn’t nowadays!”
QWC nice people to do business with.

Mr Plews
“Skin less harsh, noticed improvement within the first week.”
“QWC were recommended to us by David Wilson Homes”.

Mrs Rose
Market Harborough
“My son jack developed eczema so we got a softener installed, it is common knowledge that soft water helps dry skins”.
Mr Turney
“Son suffers with dry cracking skin, the water softener stops his skin going hard and dry”.


Please re-visit this part of our website as we will continually update the progress and findings of any new research.


Water Softeners

Do water softeners help eczema sufferers?
Some people with eczema seem to find that their skin improves when they move to a soft water area or if they install a Water Softener. Hard water contains high levels of calcium and magnesium salts that have the potential to irritate the skin. However, the amount of people that this may affect is unknown.


There has been a lot of anecdotal evidence from people who have tried using water softeners that suggests that having their water softened has improved their eczema. More recently, a study in Nottingham found that eczema was slightly commoner in schoolchildren living in the hardest water areas when compared with the soft areas. It is difficult to say whether this was due to the hard water or if it is due to some other factor.


If hard water is a factor in causing or worsening eczema, then this could be a direct effect of irritation from the calcium and magnesium salts in the water. Or it could be due to the fact that having hard water results in people using larger amounts of soaps and detergents, which in turn can dry out and irritate the skin. Also, clothing bedding, towels, etc., washed in hard water may have residual soap scum, enzymes and other cleaning chemicals, which may irritate sufferer's skin. So the answer to the question on whether water softeners improve eczema is "we still don't know for sure" at present. There may be something in it, but the current evidence is not strong enough to recommend it to eczema sufferers.


A team of researchers at Nottingham is doing a pilot study right now to see if doing a large experiment on water softeners is worthwhile. In the meantime, if you are considering trying a Water Softener in your home, the following information may be helpful.

How it Works

Water Softeners, or ion exchange softeners are attached to the mains water supply of the house. They are small enough to fit under the sink in most cases. . They work by removing the calcium and magnesium salts from the water.


The Softeners contain a "resin bed" that removes the hardness. Over a period of time, this resin becomes exhausted and needs to be "re-generated". Salt is added to the Softener to re-generate the resin so it can once again be used to soften the water. The salt is rinsed out and flushed to drain with the collected hardness contaminants. The use of salt to re-generate the resin results in a slightly increased sodium content in the softened water. However, it is safe to drink and doesn't taste at all salty.


Current plumbing codes require a raw water tap to be available inside the property for sampling, etc. Some people prefer to keep a hard water tap not connected to the Softener, at the kitchen sink for drinking. This should be discussed with your plumber when arranging an installation.