If you suffer from dry, itchy skin, you might have a skin condition called irritant contact dermatitis. Irritant contact dermatitis occurs when you expose your skin to something that causes your immune system to react. The reaction may be in the form of a red, itchy rash called hives. Some people experience swelling and pain in their skin.
There are some things in your home that may potentially cause irritant contact dermatitis in your skin, including the water in your home. Here's how your water affects your skin and how you can prevent it.
Can Your Water Cause Irritant Contact Dermatitis?
The water traveling through your home's plumbing pipes and water lines contains various minerals. Some of these minerals contain properties that make water hard, including magnesium and calcium. People with allergies or sensitivity to hard water minerals and other additives can experience irritant contact dermatitis.
Although magnesium and calcium are of the most common and abundant minerals in the human body, they can cause problems for some adults and children. The minerals may cause the immune system to overreact. The reaction may be severe or mild, depending on the person it occurs in.
While it's impossible to prevent hard water minerals from entering your home's main plumbing system, you can keep them from affecting your skin. You can do so by softening your water.
How Do You Make Your Water Healthier?
Water softening is a technique used to separate hard minerals from your water supply. Softening systems catch and contain hard water minerals before they pass through your shower head, faucets, and other plumbing fixtures. Some systems treat the entire home, including toilets and washer machines.
A number of systems use salt to replace the hard minerals they remove from water. Although salt is a natural mineral used for numerous household purposes, it can irritate the skin of some individuals. If you have problems with salt, choose a salt-free water softening treatment for your home.
After you secure the water in your home, see a skin specialist about your rashes. A doctor may prescribe creams and moisturizers that keep irritant contact dermatitis from acting up. You may also may need to use mineral-free soap and cleanser when you bathe, wash your clothing, or prepare meals. A skin specialist can help you choose the best alternatives for your needs.
For more information about hard water and how to treat it in your home's plumbing system, contact a water softening specialist today.