In just a few days, my daughters eczema has improved substantially. She seems to be itching less and her skin isn't as inflamed as before.
It's difficult to say, other than our water softener was repaired and has been working again for the past few days. So could it be the change in water hardness?
We live in a particularly hard water area, where the water supplied to us is high in dissolved minerals, specifically magnesium and calcium, which can reduce the ability of soap and other detergents to work effectively.
These dissolved minerals can also cause damage to equipment which uses water such as washing machines and dishwashers, more importantly, some research does seem to point to some increased levels of eczema in hard water areas.
It's far too early to categorically state that the change in water hardness has contributed to the improvement in my daughters eczema and as such I'm advocating everyone in hard water areas who have eczema or have children with eczema should rush out and by a water softener!
Water softeners are expensive, I think we paid just over 500 pounds for ours a few years ago, plus there was the plumbing cost, to have it all connected.
We actually didn't at the time buy it, to relieve my daughters eczema, in fact we were ignorant of the whether hard water could be contributing to my daughters eczema.
Instead we bought it, because our water tank stopped working from the corrosion caused by hard water and our washing machine was giving us problems too. It seemed like a good investment to protect us from higher repair costs from potential damage caused to our white goods.
We spoke to our doctor about whether hard water could be contributing to our daughter's eczema after my husband had read the following article on the BBC's website.//news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/7820081.stm
The research consisted of several parents being offered a water softener for 12 weeks and monitoring their child's eczema by keeping a daily diary, to record eczema symptoms.
Our doctor advised us whilst there may be some indication of hard water affecting eczema, more research would be needed. But there was no harm in trying softer water for bathing, if there seemed to be an improvement.
Any improvement in my daughter's eczema is more than welcome, so we will be more vigilant with ensuring our water softener is working and the salt tablets are topped up regularly.
Water softeners and conditioners use special salt tablets to neutralise the minerals in the water and discharge these. I don't know the exact details of how water softeners work but from what I've researched, the ones which use salt tablets do work.
There are those cheaper water softeners which use a coil wrapped around the water pipe to discharge the minerals in the water. However, from what I read there was very little to support the effectiveness of these.
I think it's vitally important in getting your child to be able to sleep by themselves as this can increase the quality of your life, by allowing you to get some sleep too. By using the techniques advised by our sleep therapist, we found immense benefits from controlled crying.