Have you ever experienced any skin reactions to water, like when showering?
If this is you, there could be several reasons why your skin reacts or seems to get worse, especially for those with eczema. The biggest issue could simply be your water - more specifically, your water quality.
If you are wondering why water could be the reason, it is pretty simple. Think about it, as you go about your daily life, how often do you come into contact with water?
Check off this list if you use water when:
✔️ Washing hands
✔️ Freshening Up
✔️ Getting Wet From Rainwater
If you have ticked off most, if not all, then that just proves why water plays a large factor - especially when it surrounds us every day. It also makes up 70% of our body, as well as about 71% of the Earth's surface (oceans hold about 96.5 per cent of all Earth's water)!
But let us talk about clean water. How clean is our water, and what goes into it to become clean that makes it safe for consumption and use? Posing another question - how safe is it really to us, especially our skin?
To determine the level of safety to our skin, we must first understand the level of water quality - what constitutes good and bad water?
Your skin is unique to your person, so irritation to the skin can be caused due to individuals different skin sensitivity to certain chemicals present in the water content. Some are generally more sensitive than others, and some are more sensitive to specific chemicals than others.
Going back to our question - what then is considered good or bad water quality?
Good vs Bad Water Quality
To put it simply, what determines the water quality is the toxicity and contamination of the water. Springwell highlights 6 toxic water contaminants that could lead to possible skin reactions including organic and inorganic matter, bacteria, viruses and pollutants.
Like with all chemicals used, if in smaller doses they are generally safe for use, however, the problem therein lies when chemical content is high. For example, the most common chemical present - chlorine.
Chlorine is one the most potent and used water disinfectant, but when it comes into contact with our skin does it poses issues. Washing with chlorinated water could eliminate skin flora as it does not distinguish good and bad bacteria, and yes, good bacteria does exist - it actually helps protect your body. Due to killing the micro-organisms living in our skin, it can cause acne and long-term exposure could lead to skin irritations and itching. Similarly, when we consume chlorinated water, it damages our intestinal flora (micro-organisms living in our intestines) creating digestive issues like preventing production and absorption of vitamins key to keeping our bodies healthy.
Springwell also emphasises how more skin reactions could include rashes, dry skin, burning, stinging, chlorine burns and more inflammation for those with hypersensitive skin - especially those with pre-existing conditions like eczema.
Essentially, what is important to note is that water quality can cause possible skin reactions. However, this is usually only the case if chemicals or minerals present in the water are not used within the safe consumption guidelines.
Another outlier is those with hypersensitive skin should take extra care and invest in water filters to ensure that any water they come into contact with, within control, is safer for them and their bodies.