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Hard Water and Eczema

Many eczema sufferers have reported an improvement in symptoms after instaling a water softener or moving to a soft water region.


This is because soft water does not have the high levels of calcium and magnesium present in hard water which can irritate the skin. As soaps and washing detergents do not lather as well in hard water, we also much more in baths and showering– products that are known to aggravate eczema symptoms.

Studies show links between hard water and Eczema

Past research has indicated possible links between eczema and water hardness, with one study in Nottingham finding that primary school children living in hard water areas were almost 50% more likely to have eczema than those living in a softer water area.


Similar studies carried out in Spain and Japan also found a higher incidence of eczema in areas of the country which are supplied with hard water.


These findings prompted a government-funded clinical trial organised by the University of Nottingham Centre of Evidence-Based Dermatology. Researchers installed water softeners in the homes of 336 children with eczema for a 12-week period.


The trial showed benefits based on the opinion of the patient and the patient’s family. In fact, 66% of the parents involved went on to purchase a water softener after the trial, and water softener suppliers continue to receive customer reports of improvement in eczema conditions.

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Kinetico and talkeczema soft water trial

Kinetico commissioned talkeczema – one of the UK’s largest eczema support groups – to conduct an independent product trial and survey to see if soft water could relieve eczema symptoms. A Kinetico water softener was installed in the homes of selected talkeczema members for a three-month period and participants filled out a questionnaire at the end of this period.

  • 91% recorded less itchiness;
  • 83% maintained that the water softener reduced the severity of their eczema;
  • 67% of those who regularly applied emollients or steroid cream were using less.

Below are just a few of the responses from participants…

talk eczema

“Even my husband has said how moisturised his skin feels after showering. I have even managed to reduce the amount of emollient that I apply each day to my daughter.”

“Since using a water softener her skin does feel smoother and I have to use less cream. Also at the moment less reaction when in contact with the water.”

“I cannot believe the difference the softener has made, I am no longer getting dry flaky patches on my face. And there is the added bonus of not having to use so much detergent in my wash etc, so that’s got to better for my skin too..”

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How Kinetico helped Dylan Flanagan-Crawford

Three-year-old Dylan used to suffer very badly from eczema. It was so serious he had to wear special suits 24 hours a day and his skin was raw from his constant scratching. Despite being prescribed many different creams by his GP, nothing seemed to work.


After some online research, Dylan’s mother contacted Kinetico and had a water softener installed. Within a few weeks, Dylan’s eczema dramatically improved and eventually vanished. Now he leads an active life, loves playing football and doesn’t have to worry about bath time.


Let Dylan’s mum tell you their story