Why Do I Have Itchy Skin After I Shower?

You take a nice hot shower to feel relaxed and refreshed. So, why do you come out feeling itchy all over after you shower?

Woman with itchy skin after her shower

The answer likely has to do with what’s in your water.

If you’re like most people throughout the country, your home has hard water. As we will see, this type of water frequently dries out the skin, leading to itchy hands, feet, legs and more after showering.

Fortunately, there are ways to treat hard water and prevent this itchiness for good!

Keep reading to learn:

  • Why hard water gives you itchy skin after you shower
  • Other ways hard water can harm your home and health
  • How to stop itching after you shower with a water softener
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Why Hard Water Leaves You Feeling Itchy All Over

The term “hard water” refers to water that contains high amounts of calcium and magnesium minerals. Some hard water also contains a lot of iron and manganese. The water collects these minerals as it flows through soil containing rock formations like limestone or chalk.

Since these rock formations are common throughout the United States, most of the country has hard water. And some areas have harder water than others. For example, we at Angel Water serve the Northern Illinois and Southeast Florida regions, and both areas have some of the hardest water in the country at more than 181 milligrams per liter!

All that calcium and magnesium in your water can leave you feeling itchy after you shower in a couple of ways:

It Makes Your Soap Less Effective

First, the minerals don’t interact well with your soap. What you want when you shower is a good lather that completely rinses away to get rid of the dirt on your skin. However, the minerals interrupt the cleaning process by mixing with your soap to form soap scum. Instead of rinsing away, this scum attaches to your skin and remains after you’ve finished showering. It then dries out your skin and causes an itchy, irritated feeling as you go about your day.

It Leaves Behind Harsh Calcium Deposits

Hard water also leaves behind its own unwanted deposits on your skin in the form of little calcium flakes. This excess calcium attaches to your skin and makes it harder for your natural oils to maintain proper moisture levels. As a result, your skin can become dry and wrinkly, and the calcium can also clog your pores, resulting in blemishes and acne.

It Results in Many Unwanted Skin Conditions

The more you shower in hard water, the more soap scum and calcium will collect on your skin. This excess buildup can lead to many skin problems over time, including:

  • Dryness – The calcium deposits will suppress your skin’s natural moisture.
  • Cracking – As the skin dries out, it can become inflamed and bleed upon cracking.
  • Flaking – Scratching the dry skin can lead to shedding white flakes of calcium and soap scum.
  • Tightness – The minerals can adhere to the skin like a shield, making it feel tight.
  • Dullness/Wrinkles – The minerals can dull and wrinkle healthy skin cells by making them vulnerable to UV rays and sun damage.
  • Acne – The calcium deposits worsen acne over time as they clog pores.

Hard water is also particularly harsh on people with skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. While the water does not cause these conditions, the soap scum and mineral deposits certainly don’t help the situation. The water will only worsen the conditions and make them harder to treat over time.

Other Problems Associated with Hard Water

Clearly, hard water is no friend to the health of your skin. But did you know it can also lead to many other frustrating, embarrassing and costly problems for your home and health?

Frustrating Cleaning

The water will frustrate you by making it more difficult to clean your dishes and bathroom. Just as it leaves behind calcium deposits on your skin, it will also leave them on your dishware, faucets and showerheads. This caked-on calcium is not easy to wash off and will extend your cleaning time by quite a bit.

Embarrassing Symptoms

Hard water also has many embarrassing effects, such as making your hair look frizzy and discoloring your clothing in the washing machine. On top of this, water with excess iron and manganese can leave unsightly brown stains in your toilet bowl that are very difficult to remove.

Increased Spending

Finally, hard water will put extra strain on your wallet for many reasons. As we mentioned above, it makes soap products less effective, so you must use more to get an effective lather. Therefore, your monthly spend on cleaning products will likely increase. Plus, hard water can also clog up your plumbing, water heater and dishwasher with excess calcium deposits, leading to expensive repair bills.


How to Prevent Itchy Skin After a Shower

As you may have guessed, if the problem is hard water, then the solution must be soft water! Soft water is much better for your skin because it doesn’t contain the excess mineral content of hard water. Because of this, it is much easier to effectively lather and completely wash away soap with no harmful calcium deposits left behind. Soft water also doesn’t cause any of the extra problems listed above.

So, instead of living with the effects of hard water and trying to temporarily soothe them with lotions and moisturizers, we recommend investing in a solution that will turn your hard water soft. You can do this by finding the right salt-based water softener for your home!

How a Salt-Based Water Softener Works

A salt-based water softener eliminates hard water minerals through a process called ion exchange. The hard water enters the system and is filtered through many tiny resin beads. These beads attract the calcium and magnesium minerals off the water droplet. As a result, all the harsh minerals stay in the softener, and the system sends the newly softened water into your home. The system then periodically cleans the minerals off the beads with a salt-brine solution. It’s as simple as that!

Here are some steps to follow to find your ideal water softener system.

Get Your Water Tested

There are many water softeners on the market today. So, which system should you choose? The answer will largely depend on the hardness of your water. After all, certain water softeners can handle higher hardness levels than others.

You can find out how hard your water is by getting it tested. A water test will reveal how many grains per gallon you’re dealing with and which contaminants are causing your hardness. For example, the test could show you have 15 grains per gallon and your minerals include iron and manganese. Once you know this, you can start looking for softeners specially designed to handle this much hardness and remove those elements.

Choose the Right Water Softener

You will probably find a few different water softeners systems that seem to be perfect fits for your water. So, how do you choose between those softeners?

One of the most important things to look for when researching water softeners is NSF/ANSI 44 certification. Systems that have this certification have gone through rigorous tests to ensure they do what they say they’ll do. NSF/ANSI 44 also certifies that a system can reduce harmful contaminants like barium and radium 226/228.

Another crucial factor to consider is the brand of the water softener. You will want to choose a brand with a reputation for quality and dependability.

One brand we frequently recommend to our customers is EcoWater. EcoWater systems are some of the best ones on the market because they come NSF/ANSI 44 certified and have advanced features like Wi-Fi connectivity. The right EcoWater system will have everything you need to keep that itchy after shower feeling away for good!

Have Your Water Softener System Professionally Installed

Of course, even the best system won’t give you the results you’re looking for if you don’t install it correctly. Water softener installation can be complex and difficult if you don’t have the right tools or knowledge. That’s why we recommend having your system installed by a licensed expert. It’s the best way to ensure the best possible results.


Eliminate the Itch with Softer Water Today!

You don’t have to live with uncontrollable itching after you shower! By following the steps above, you will be well on your way to soft water and healthier skin!

Our team would be happy to help you with that. At Angel Water, we offer EPA-certified water testing and a wide variety of water softener systems for your home. We also have a team of licensed plumbers that can install your system the right way the first time.

We’ve served residents in Arlington Heights, Hoffman Estates and the greater Chicagoland region for over 50 years. We now also serve Palm Beach County in Southeast Florida. Please call us today at 847-382-7800 or fill out the form below to speak to an expert!

Tell Us How We Can Help!

Please call us today at 847-382-7800

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