Why Am I Itchy After I Shower?

Woman in bathroom scratching her neck

Do you notice that your skin feels tight after retiring from a long hot shower? Do you notice yourself often scratching, maybe even that your skin seems to flake off afterward? This could be due to a high amount of hard water of minerals in your water.

Fortunately, there are ways you can relieve the itch and prevent it from happening!

Keep reading to learn:

  • Why your skin is itchy after you shower
  • The potential issues and risks associated with being itchy from shower water
  • How to relieve itchy skin and get rid of itchiness after showers for good

What Causes Itchy Skin After Showering?

Most often, being itchy after showering is caused by hard water in your system. Hard water can be very tough on the skin, especially if you already have a skin condition such as eczema or psoriasis. Hard water contains minerals such as calcium, magnesium and iron, to name a few. These minerals do not react well with soap and easily form salts that stick to your skin, clogging pores and drying it out.

Hard water problems are found in 85% of the US. Furthermore, Northern Illinois has some of the hardest water in the country at over 15 grains per gallon! The buildup of calcium and magnesium can find its way into your water in a few different ways. However, it’s usually a natural result of the minerals accumulating during the water cycle.

But hard water isn’t the only thing that can make you feel itchy after a shower. Allergic reactions to your body soap or laundry detergent can also produce an itchy feeling. And showering or bathing in hot water for long periods of time can strip your skin of its natural oils and cause dry, itchy skin.

What are the potential problems with hard water showers?

Showering in hard water doesn’t present any major health risks, but the long-term effects can be irritating and embarrassing. Continuing to use hard water will produce a buildup of minerals in your skin, causing irritating problems like:

  • Dryness – Your skin can dry out due to the minerals forming a film on the surface of the skin.
  • Flaking – Although the skin often flakes when scratched, these flakes may not always be skin. The flakes could also be particles of the salts formed by the minerals in hard water.
  • Tight Skin – The minerals can adhere to the skin like a shield, making it feel tight. This film is similar to what you see on a sink after a long time of enduring hard water.
  • Itching/ Cracking – Hard water can dry out of the skin, just as we regularly see in the cold winter months. In severe cases, the skin can become inflamed and bleed upon cracking.
  • Dullness/ Wrinkles – The minerals in hard water break down healthy skin cells making the skin vulnerable to UV rays and sun damage.
  • Acne – Salt collects on the skin and clogs pores creating breakouts.

Hard Water and Skin Conditions

Hard water can also cause additional aggravation in people with skin conditions like eczema and dermatitis. According to DermaHarmony, hard water itself doesn’t cause dermatitis, but it can irritate the condition or even initiate a flare-up. The combination of hard water with a coexisting skin condition can lead to more frequent and severe outbreaks.

Hard Water and Soap Effectiveness

Additionally, your soap is less effective when used in hard water. You’ll end up using more soap to keep your skin clean. If your soap isn’t working in the shower, it probably isn’t working throughout your house either. You may find soap scum, a white or gray filmy layer, covering your showers, bathtubs and sinks. Hard water combines with the minerals to create soap residue – which you’ll find on your laundry and on your skin all day. So, with hard water, you’ll end up using more soap to keep your body clean and more products to clean your home too.

Graphic illustrating common problems related to being itchy after a shower

How Do I Fix Being Itchy After Shower?

It’s no fun finding yourself scratching and itching yourself after a shower. However, there are some ways you can remedy the itch after showering. We’ll look at some quick-fix remedies that will help get rid of the itch for a little while, but the ultimate solution is getting rid of hard water throughout your house.

Itchy Skin Remedies after Shower

Here are some ways you can change up your shower and hygiene routine to alleviate itchy skin symptoms:

  • Keep showers and baths as short and as cool as possible. You may get skin that’s healthier and less itchy if you take shorter and lukewarm showers.
  • Use fragrance-free, moisturizing cleansers or soaps. If you find you continuously itch after showering, it may help to start by switching soaps. You could be having a reaction to the ingredients or fragrance in your soap.
  • Pat your skin dry instead of wiping water off. You may be irritating and stripping your skin of moisture when you rub with a towel. Instead of trying to completely dry with a towel, lightly dab it off and air dry the rest.
  • Apply a heavy, fragrance-free moisturizer while your skin is just a bit damp. This will help to lock moisture into your skin barrier.
  • Consider menthol, calamine lotion, or essential oils to prevent or treat the itching. Other essential oils, like peppermint, tea tree, and rose geranium can potentially benefit your dry and itchy skin.
  • Get hydrated. Drinking more water can help skin become moisturized.
  • Do not scratch your skin! This can irritate and injure it, causing the itching to be worse.
  • Use a humidifier. This can be especially helpful throughout the winter months.

Hard Water Shower Prevention

Hard water has not been proven to cause skin conditions. However, it will continually worsen the issue. By having salts and minerals on your skin, you will need to spend good money on expensive soaps, which could destroy the natural oils in your skin.

The only way to ensure that you are not endangering your skin is to install a water softener. This way, you can be confident that you are cleaning your skin the proper way and keep all of the healthy oils where they belong. Water softeners remove the excess minerals that create hard water, making it, so you leave the shower with clean, refreshed skin and no more irritation and clogged pores.

Ready to Say Goodbye to Hard Water Showers?

We provide a wide selection of filtration and water softener systems to get rid of hard water throughout your home! Our systems prevent that nasty mineral buildup that causes you to be itchy after a shower. Angel Water in Barrington, IL, is committed to getting you the cleanest and softest water for you and your family. Call us today at 847-382-7800 or fill out the form below to get the healthy water you and your family deserve!

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