Baby Eczema and The Effects of Hard Water on Children

If you have hard water, you might know all too well the negative effects it has on your skin. But what about the effects of hard water on your baby’s skin? From the bathtub to the laundry, the water used during these essential life events can have an adverse effect on your child.

High levels of hard water are directly associated with atopic dermatitis (eczema), an itchy inflammation of the skin. Hard water can be a catalyst that triggers this reaction. According to a new study led by King’s College London, living in a hard water area was associated with an up to 87% increased risk of baby eczema at three months of age, independent of domestic water chlorine content.

Though eczema is largely known as a genetic condition, environmental triggers in household items such as water, detergent, and a mix of the two can cause symptoms.

While it is not known if calcium carbonate buildup is directly linked to causing these issues, or whether the pH levels or other factors at play, what is known is that having hard water is not good for adults, let alone the tender skin of a young child.

How To Wash Baby Clothes With Eczema


There is no actual scientific evidence that washing your baby’s clothes in soft water is a cure for eczema. However, it is proven that soft water breaks down mineral content in your laundry detergent, leading to better quality clothing and softer skin. Using this as evidence, it can be hypothesized that washing your baby’s clothes in soft water may help – and it definitely can’t hurt.

Typical precaution should be used when washing your baby’s clothes with eczema — use liquids to leave behind less residue and use hypoallergenic detergents that are free of scents and dyes.

What You Can Do About Hard Water and Baby Eczema


Installing a high-grade Culligan® water softener can ensure the health of your child’s skin is at a limited risk.

Furthermore, washing your baby’s clothes with the rest of your laundry probably won’t irritate your baby’s skin unless he or she suffers from allergies or eczema. However, don’t wash cloth diapers along with your regular load, as harsh detergents can cause diaper rash, regardless of water hardness.

Water itself doesn’t have an all-encompassing ability to effectively cleanse skin gently. If you are living in a hard water area, consider using a liquid baby cleanser.

Though more studies are needed to attribute the specific contributions of ingredients of these formulations, the correlation between using such a product and your child experiencing less effects of dry skin is positive.

Need more information? Call Culligan of Pittsburgh today for all of your water softening needs.

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