Well my wife and I are counting down to the closing date on our house. I just hope and pray that everything goes as planned, and there are no problems or delays. We have been really busy packing, signing papers, and so forth.
If everything goes smoothly, I should be in my new house within 3 weeks from today (although it could be sooner if we get lucky and they hurry with title searches and inspections). That also means I should be installing and experimenting with water filtration within a week or so after moving in.
Anyway, I have recently made a “vow” to not take 1 more shower in this nasty water I have in this city. It is just terribly hard water as I have posted before. The last time I took a shower here was September 4th, and afterwards my skin felt so tight, dry, and itchy (not the hives kind). It also made the hives more reactive.
So since September 4th, I have not showered, and only washed my hair using the nasty water here, and spot washed as needed. Then, yesterday, I was really wishing I could take a shower, and my wife and I decided to simply buy some distilled water, warm it, and use that to give me a “bath.”
So we went to our local grocery store, bought some distilled water, and headed home. Distilled water should naturally be soft and chemical free, because the distillation process removes trace minerals and chemicals.
Anyway, we got home and we poured about 2 1/2 gallons of this stuff into a pot, and heated it on the stove for a few minutes. I then got into the bath, and stood there and used a cup to pour the heated water on me, and then washed my hair with shampoo, rinsed, and then used soap.
After that, I rinsed several times with the pure distilled water. It felt much better on my skin, and left my skin feeling much more soft. Usually, my skin itches me to death afterwards, and feels so dry and tight. It was quite a dramatic difference once I used the distilled water, and I can’t wait to get a water softener.
Nasty Soap Curd Scum, Chemicals, and Dead Skin
My wife was in the bathroom with me helping me rinse, and when I was done she noticed something odd: My skin was very very flaky.
No big deal, right? But then she took her fingernails (she has long ones), and pressed her nail up against my stomach, and then made a long scratch down to my belly button.
She then looked at the inside of her fingernail, and the whole inside of her nail was filled with this strange white gunk. It looked kinda like white putty or something. She was like, “Oh my gosh…”
She then did this over and over, several times in different spots, and each time it would completely fill her nail with gunk. I have no idea what it was, but I suspect it was a combination of soap curd left on from soap residue, dead skin cells, and dried minerals from the hard water.
She did it to her arm and stomach, but nothing. She even washed it with water and so forth to make it wet to see if that was the reason…still nothing. Eventually, she was able to get some of it from the top of her scalp, and her leg, but it wasn’t near the quantity I had. The only thing we can figure is that the water is so hard here it has caused a nice “film” of gunk to gather on our skin.
At this point, my wife and I have a very strong reason to believe this is the cause of my hives. If it isn’t the direct cause, it at least is making it worse. But I suspect it could be the direct cause.
I think it is causing my hives in 2 ways: First my immune system is probably sensitive to one of the dissolved minerals in the tap water, which is coating my entire skin’s surface on what used to be a daily basis. This accounts for why it doesn’t affect everyone (like my wife).
Second, I think this soap curd is causing a film on my skin. Soap curd forms when the hard water minerals (calcium, magnesium, etc.) combine with soap to form a sticky substance called “curd” or “scum.” This sticks to everything (the shower, your skin, your pipes, etc.). It clogs pores, and also helps bacteria multiply and stay on your skin.
So if the water is behind this, it could be due to simple chemical sensitivity, and poral occlusion by the soap curd and/or bacteria. Again, I may be completely wrong, but it is sure worth it to me to test this theory myself.
The water softener will remove the dissolved minerals and metals in the water, replacing them with sodium ions. This should solve both the potential chemical sensitivity issue, and it will also prevent soap curd from forming (since there will be no minerals to form the curd). So I am super interested in trying this out, and experimenting with other filtration systems.
My Shower Plans for the Future: Distilled Water and Scrubbing
I am not taking 1 more shower in this place, unless it is distilled water from a jug. I will not let this nasty water touch my skin again (except to wash my hands).
My plans are to simply shower less often, and when I do shower, I will use distilled water from a jug. My wife said she is going to buy one of those really tough scrubbing pads from walmart, and scrub my skin really hard to try and remove that white film later this week.
The water is so much better on my skin, and feels incredible. I am interested to see if it helps my hives over time until I get the water softener. I know that as of right now, I am not quite as reactive as I was. However, it is difficult to tell because:
- I have only done this with distilled water 1 time so far, and
- I still have that nasty film on the majority of my body, which I hope to scrub off soon.
Once I do this for a while, and scrub that film off, it will be interesting to see if the hives improve. Of course, I will definitely update you with anything that I experience as always.
One thing is for sure: I am really excited about moving, and I can’t wait to install a water softening system. It will be expensive, but if it does cure or help the hives, it will be worth every penny.
I can’t wait to buy one, and give a full tutorial with pictures of how to install it. As I said, I am hopefully a month or so away at the most…wish me luck! Hopefully it will help my Cholinergic Urticaria.