The Softened Water Eczema Trial, which is being funded by the Department of Health, aims to understand if softer water around the home can improve eczema in children. It is recruiting children aged six months to 16 years from various hard-water areas in England.
The research will look at the effects on children with eczema of deliberately softening all the water in the home, apart from a single tap in the kitchen for drinking.
‘Eczema in primary school-age children has been found to be more common in hard water areas, but no-one really knows why,’ said lead researchers Professor Hywel Williams from the University of Nottingham. ‘If ion-exchange water softeners are found to improve the symptoms of eczema, this will be an extremely important finding,’