The Effects of Hard Water Systems on Infant Eczema

Julia Marotti

Eczema is a skin inflammation disease that results in red, flaky, and itchy skin. It is located on the epidermis of the skin. A recent study by the dermatology students at King’s College in London shows that hard water systems can increase an infant’s likeliness to develop Eczema. Hard water is alkaline and has a pH (potential of Hydrogen) of an average of 8. The skin is supposed to be in contact with acidic pH’s, such as pH5 or pH4. The difference between a pH of 5 and a pH of 8 is a 1000X differentiation.

Many states have hard water systems that flow throughout their residents’ homes. A report from the US Geological Survey states, “Indiana, Utah, New Mexico, and Arizona are states whose untreated groundwater is very hard. Moderately hard water – again, untreated – is found in Montana, Idaho, Nevada, California Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Illinois, and Ohio”. Correlating with the Hard Water Systems, the highest Eczema occurrences are in Idaho, Nevada, and Utah.

In order to prevent Infant Eczema in places with hard water, water softeners can


Infant washing his hands using a recommended soft water system. Photo courtesy of realgirlskitchen.com.

be installed in homes. Water softeners not only balance the alkalinity, but they clean items more efficiently. They do this by removing the metals, such as magnesium, from the hard water. As a replacement, they add sodium chloride. Sodium chloride is purer than heavy metals because magnesium and calcium clog pores.

Metals affect younger children’s epidermis more than any other age range because infants have a weaker immune system. They have not been exposed to as much bacteria as a grown adult, which is why they are prone to getting eczema.

Although 3 million cases of Eczema are reported each year in the United States alone, it is treatable. Consulting a dermatologist may give you access to medicines or certain creams. Although UV rays are not recommended for the skin, if you reach extreme discomfort they can help remove Eczema. For extremely mild cases natural remedies such as coconut oil, probiotics and sea spray can reduce the appearance.

By: Julia Marotti’21, Staff Writer


Categories: Features