Water softeners are ideally suited for people with eczema - as the general consensus is that “soft water” is more effective when used for washing, which means using less irritating soaps and detergents. These simple products can be easily installed in “hard water” areas to provide immediate relief to people who suffer with the condition.
Eczema is a skin condition or rash that can be characterized by itching, swelling, redness, dryness, crusting, flaking, blistering, cracking, and even oozing or bleeding. Eczema affects up to 20% of children in the UK. It usually occurs on the face, neck, and the insides of the elbows, knees, and ankles. In infants, it is usually seen on the forehead, cheeks, forearms, legs, scalp, and neck.
Skin contains fats and oils that act as a seal. The skin cells attract and keep water inside, and the fats and oils also help keep the water in. However, If you have eczema, your skin may not produce as much fats and oils as other people’s, and will be less able to retain water. The protective barrier is therefore not as good as it should be.
Gaps open up between the skin cells if they are not sufficiently plumped up with water. Moisture is then lost from the deeper layers of the skin, allowing bacteria or irritants to pass through more easily – which then leads to the uncomfortable itchy effects associated with the condition. This can lead to discomfort if simple measures aren’t taken to prevent aggravating the skin.
The skin is therefore is much drier and needs “gentler” techniques and washing products. Softened water actually has a clean silky feeling and is of huge benefit to suffers, as bathing in hard water can cause skin to dry. Moisturizing regularly is one of the most important self-care treatments. Keeping the affected area moistened can promote skin healing and relief of symptoms. Therefore it is important to use the right type of soaps available for your condition!
Watch out for harsher detergents, as milder products would obviously be much better for suffers. Also use soaps which contain oil or fat base and avoid unscented soaps. Trial test new soaps on a small area until you are sure of its results. It is also very important to regularly moisturise the skin.
By Andrew Parker BA Hons in Journalism
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