Hard Water Could Aggravate Eczema and Severely Damage Skin: Study

Hard water can damage the protective skin layering that shields us from external threats like bacteria and sunburns, and lead to the development of eczema.

Hard Water Could Aggravate Eczema and Severely Damage Skin: Study

Here's another reason to take note of the quality of your water supply. According to a latest study, the unsuitable pH levels of hard water can damage the protective skin layering that shields us from external threats like bacteria and sunburns, and lead to the development of eczema. Hard water is water that has a high mineral content as opposed to soft water, which makes it unsuitable for common use such as drinking and bathing. Researchers from the University of Sheffield and Kings College London in the United Kingdom studied the adverse effect of hard water on our skin, and discovered that the harmful irritants of hard water could have damaging effects on the protective skin barrier and can make our skin vulnerable to potential irritants found in everyday wash products such as soap or washing powder

Hard water consists of high levels of calcium and magnesium ions that bind to surfactants such as sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) and sodium lauryl ether sulfate (SLES) which act as detergents or wetting agents making them insoluble. The researchers said that the surface of skin is normally acidic on the pH scale , but hard water has high alkalinity and can raise the skin surface pH. A shift towards alkaline pH disturbs the skin's natural function of acting as protective barrier and makes it prone to infection.

"By damaging the skin barrier, washing with hard water may contribute to the development of eczema - a chronic skin condition characterized by an intensely itchy red rash," said Simon Danby, from the University of Sheffield. The researchers also noted that, on exposure to hard water, eczema patients were more prone to infections than people with healthy skin. This increased sensitivity is associated with a genetic predisposition to a skin barrier defect brought about by mutations in the gene encoding filaggrin((a structural protein important for the formation of our skins barrier)

Symptoms of eczema include inflamed, dry skin and often secondary skin infections, which can affect any part of the body. "It is during the first few days and months of life that our skin is most susceptible to damage and most at risk of developing eczema," said Carsten Flohr from Kings College London in the UK.

"For that reason we are now embarking on a pilot trial to investigate whether installation of a domestic water softener around the time of birth can prevent skin barrier breakdown and eczema in those living in hard water areas," said Flohr. The study was published in the Journal of Investigate Dermatology.

Like every organ of the body, the skin is also made up of many cells that require water to function properly. You must give your body the essential amount of water it requires. It is advisable to drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water daily. Internal nourishment is as important as external care. Here are five benefits of drinking adequate water daily:

1. Moisture: Tired of dry and patchy skin? Drink plenty of water to maintain optimum skin moisture and deliver essential nutrients to the skin cells. Water replenishes the skin tissue and increases its elasticity.

2.Perfect anti-ageing treatment: Load up on this miracle potin to keep your skin well hydrated and glistening and keep the signs of ageing and wrinkles at bay.

3. Combat skin allergies: Drinking enough water combats skin disorders like psoriasis and eczema.

4. For the glow: Keepin oneself hydrated stimulates the metabolism ad digestive system to flush out toxins from the body, which in turn gives you a healthy and glowing skin.

5. Keeps acne at bay: Did you know that a dose of jeera( cumin) water can help you keep acne away? It has anti-bacterial properties that cleanse you from within.

From good skin to healthy digestion and metabolism, there are plenty of reasons to drink enough water every day.

(Inputs PTI)



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