The Softened Water Eczema Trial

in 2007, researchers at the University of Nottingham began to recruit children from six months to 16 years living in hard water areas and suffering from eczema to take part in a trial to establish whether softer water in the home could improve eczema in children.

The study took place in parts of the UK where the water is naturally hard (London, Nottingham, Cambridge, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth, Leicester and Lincoln/Boston), and 336 children were recruited.

The research team concluded: "It had been hoped that water softeners would provide simple but effective relief for the many children who suffer from this itchy and uncomfortable condition. However, the trial showed no objective difference in outcomes between the children whose homes were fitted with a water softener and those without."

For further information about the The Softened Water Eczema Trial and the team at the University of Nottingham who conducted it, see

January 2009. Updated January 2013.

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