Sometimes it is the hardness in the water that affects eczema and a study at Nottingham University found that eczema was 54% more prevalent in areas where the water was hard.
What can I do if chlorine makes my eczema worse?
Since chlorine is present in tap water for drinking and bathing, what can you do to reduce your exposure to it? Both drinking and bathing water really need to be addressed though you might want to deal with the bathing water first. Many people with eczema find that their skin is red and more itchy when they have had a shower or bath. This could be that the water is a bit too warm, but it is likely to be the chlorine in the water that is aggravating the skin. In order to remove the chlorine from your bathing water you really need to filter it or use a bath dechlorinator. See below.
For drinking. We are lucky enough to have a natural spring in the village where many people go to fill up their water jugs with spring water. Spring water should be tested regularly to make sure it is free from bacteria and farm run-off. More usual options are to buy spring water in glass bottles, or to use a simple jug filter on your counter top and use the water for both drinking and cooking.
Looking for a more permanent solution?
A drinking water filter not only filters out chlorine but can also filter out herbicides, pesticides, bacteria, oestrogens and heavy metals. When you replace the filter cartridge on a water filter you will see just what the benefits are - not only is the chlorine removed but a lot besides. A filter that started off white will become very brown and partially clogged in 6 months time.
Showering and bathing in chlorinated water can be very harsh on the skin
A shower filter or Crystal Ball bath dechlorinator can be an economical way of removing chlorine from your bathing water. If your shower is over the bath you can even fill the bath through the shower filter. Alternatively the Crystal Ball is an ingeneous invention that changes chlorine to zinc chloride - a harmless substance.
Occassionally, in fact rarely, we have a customer whose eczema has shown no change when they switch to filtering their bathing water. We know there are many triggers, and many customers have addressed a good number of them. We've had such a good response from some customers that we always find it disaapointing when it isn't a miraculours benefit. We do feel strongly that you are still better off not to be exposing yourself to chlorine in drinking water and bathing water as it reduces the total load of pollutants that your body is having to cope with. If this all sounds a bit like you and your situation and you would like some help to determine your triggers, please give us a call on 0845 450 5950 - or from a mobile 01453 752216. We'll see if we can help you track down your triggers.
Next blog: Eczema & detergents