Hard Water and Health Issues, What If They’re Related?
Hard water is tough on everything you clean, including your body. It is safe to drink but it can be damaging to your skin and hair. What causes water to be hard is a high concentration of minerals, primarily calcium and magnesium. While you need these minerals in your diet, it can be harmful to bath in them when calcium and magnesium interact with soap, they create a sticky soap curd that clings to your hair and skin. It prevents soap from doing its job of removing grime, bacteria and dead skin. These minerals also dry out skin and hair.
Bathing in hard water leads to clogged pores and flaky, sometimes itchy, skin. It can make you more prone to developing acne or blemishes. If you already have a skin condition, it can make it flare up or worsen. Washing your hair with hard water makes it brittle and prone to breakage. It leaves it looking dull and feeling stringy or straw-like. Even styling your hair can be challenging because it makes hair less pliable. If you have dyed hair, it will make the color fade faster. Just as it dries out your skin, it also dries out your scalp making you more likely to develop dandruff.
Dry, irritated skin and dull, brittle hair aren’t serious health conditions, but they can impact your daily quality of life. They may even influence your mental health. No one wants to leave a shower feeling grimy and dried out instead of relaxed and refreshed. If you are already suffering from depression or anxiety, feeling uncomfortable in your body could be a trigger. This is why self-care has become trendy. The way you care for your body can impact how you feel. Even though drinking water packed with calcium and magnesium isn’t harmful, the results of bathing in it can be for your overall wellbeing. Your hard water may contain more than calcium and magnesium. Often hard water is densely patched with other naturally occurring minerals some of which can be harmful to drink. The Water Research Center recommends testing your water for arsenic if you have hard water because it is commonly found in it.
Arsenic is a semi-metal in the nitrogen family that occurs naturally in the ground like calcium and magnesium. Unlike those minerals, high levels of it can pose a serious health risk. It is a known carcinogen or cancer-causing agent and can harm your vascular system. It may increase your risk of developing diabetes. If you’ve noticed signs that you have hard water—such as filmy residue on your glasses after washing and calcium deposits around your faucets—we recommend getting your water tested for hardness and contaminates. The best solution for hard water is a whole home water softening system. It can be combined with a whole home water filtration system that will give you soft, safe water. Give us a call if you’d like to schedule a free in-home water analysis!