Much has been made in the news of late regarding American infrastructure, particularly the deteriorated state of water lines and pipes throughout the country. But did you know that the chemical components in our water can have negative effects on your health? Most municipalities and local governments have a tall order to fill in monitoring and marshalling resources to control what makes it to our homes. Hard water is defined as water with high concentrations of calcium and magnesium ions. Hard water is the result that ends up in many homes, which wreaks havoc not only on our homes’ insides, but also on our insides. Inevitably, the effects from the exposure to the metals in hard water are evidenced through our skin and hair.
It is already incredibly difficult to get our skin clean. A lot of skin products, including cleansers, are difficult to get off. Soap scum does not get off sinks and tubs and it does not get off your skin. Bar soaps are usually the most difficult to remove, but other soaps can cause problems, too. Calcium and magnesium are the two biggest culprits in the hard water. These elements can a chemical reaction when exposed to the skin’s natural oils.
For those with breakout-prone skin, any exposure that alters the chemical composition of your oils can cause flares. Even for those without breakout-prone skin, the bonding of these chemicals in the pores can clog them. Other than clogged pores, hard water can cause physical damage to the skin. This damage mostly arises from the drying reaction that calcium and other elements can cause. This drying over can result in increased fine lines and wrinkles.
Those with hard water may notice that facial cleansers do not later up as well or gel-based face washes do not rinse cleanly. This, once again, is due to the minerals that are built-up in harder water. To combat this, be sure that you are checking the ingredients and instructions in your products. Making sure to prep the skin well and taking care of the skin after cleaning. Toners and moisturizers can be effective in combatting the hard water that you may have at home. If you have questions about hard water and the effects on your skin, it may be time to talk to a dermatologist. Dermatologists, such as Dr. Guenthner, can educate you on the best products to use for you skin type while acknowledging and compensating for those things such as hard water. Especially if you are recently moved to the Indianapolis area and find that your skin is not adjusting well, it would be a good idea to get your skin checked out.
If you want to know if your particular skin issues are due to hard water, you can contact your local water management (municipal or private) to get an evaluation of your water or to receive a report card. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), hard water is not known to cause adverse health effects. However, if you have reservations about hard water, filtered water is available. If buying filtered water to wash your face is not doable for you, then it may be time to purchase a full water system filtration system.
Disclaim: This blog provides general information and discussion about medical, cosmetic, mohs, and surgical dermatology. The words and other content provided in this blog, and in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriately-licensed dermatologist or other health care worker.