Iron in Water Effects on Skin

by Jay | Posted on October 25th, 2022

Acne and other skin conditions have been linked to iron. Your chances of developing acne and other skin disorders may increase if your skin is exposed to water with a high iron concentration. Iron may perhaps block pores and cause pimples. The skin cells themselves may be harmed by the iron particles. 

Iron may be to blame if you or a member of your family experiences skin issues frequently. While certain drugs could be helpful, you might eventually need to filter the iron out of your water if you want your skin to become permanently healthy. 

"water pxouring on a female hand, on a black background."

Different Types of Iron Found in Water

Close-up of a filled iron bucket of clean water from a well.

Ferric Iron

Although the effects of too much iron in water are not severe, you may incur costs in terms of time and money. However, ferric iron has the advantage of being insoluble. Your water oxidizes spontaneously to produce ferric iron. 

A high ferric iron level is clearly indicated if your well water or drinking water appears reddish or orange. It can eventually block your pipes, showerheads, and fixtures since it is a genuine particle. 

Bacterial Iron 

The most challenging type of iron in drinking water is bacterial iron. Found in well water as a result of inadequate sanitation, damaged pipes, or lack of maintenance. In water, bacteria, and iron combine to form a slimy, crimson deposit that can damage your home’s fittings. 

Although bacterial iron is not toxic, it creates an environment that is favorable for the growth of infections and other organic substances.

Ferrous iron  

Water-soluble ferrous iron does not become visible until it is subjected to air conditions. It becomes ferrous and leaves stains after exposure. It can cause stains and alters the flavor of the water. Deep wells that receive little sunshine typically have water with a high ferrous iron concentration. 

Iron and water 

Did you just turn on your kitchen sink to find that it was gushing reddish-brown water? Does the water in your home have a bad egg odor? Do you see a little spot in your shower that resembles rust? 

You probably have too much iron in your water, then. The second most prevalent element in the earth’s crust is iron, which makes up around 5% of the crust. The two primary types of iron found in water are soluble ferrous iron and insoluble ferric iron. Ferrous iron is totally dissolved in the water, making it clear and colorless. 

The water becomes hazy and starts to produce a reddish-brown material when it is exposed to air in the pressure tank or the environment. The iron in this sediment is in its oxidized or ferric state, which is insoluble in water. 

Iron and Skin

Your skin may not respond well to water that has an excessive number of dissolved minerals, such as iron and magnesium. They have the potential to harm good skin cells, which can cause wrinkles. 

Iron-containing water also doesn’t mix well with soap. As a result, soap scum residue will be left on your skin and in your bathtub, which is problematic while taking a shower or bath. This may block your skin pores, which will cause an accumulation of oils in your skin and increase your risk of developing eczema or acne.

How to Tell If Your Water Has Too Much Iron 

Water drops on a solid  surface

Water color

Your water likely contains too much iron if it appears yellow, reddish-orange, or brown. Your tap water will first be clear and colorless if you have too much ferrous iron in it. 

Reddish-brown specks emerge before settling at the glass’s base. You have too much ferric iron in your water if your tap water looks rusty, has a reddish or yellowish hue, and after standing, the particles sink to the bottom. 

Bad taste

Ferrous iron that has been dissolved gives water a bad metallic taste. When the iron is combined with tea, coffee, and other liquids, it results in a harsh, unpleasant flavor and an inky, black look. 

Additionally, vegetables that have been cooked in water with too much iron might become black and appear unpleasant. 


Iron stains everything it comes into touch with by leaving behind residue. You may anticipate orange stains on your dishes and silverware, dark stains on clothing washed in iron-containing water, and dark stains on your shower, toilet, and bathtub. 

Skin dryness and itchiness

Your skin may get dry from the iron in the bath or shower water. Washing with water that contains iron can occasionally leave extra soap residues on the skin that cause dryness and irritation since soap and iron don’t always combine properly. 

Bacterial growth

Rust and bacterial slime are products of the combination of iron with bacteria known as iron bacteria. Normally, they don’t spread illness. However, studies have shown that iron in water might encourage the development of germs like E. coli. 

You should test your water frequently to be sure it hasn’t become polluted with hazardous germs, especially if you use well water. 

Clogged pipes

Iron residue and silt can accumulate in your home’s pipes over time and lead to blockage or poor drainage. You may spend a lot of money on repairs if a pipe clogs severely and needs expert care or if pressure buildup results in a leak.

What to Do If Your Water Has Too Much Iron 

The National Ground Water Association advises homeowners who utilize well systems to evaluate their water quality at least once a year. Either a home water test kit or a professional can be used for this. If high quantities of iron are discovered, there are numerous treatments that can assist address the problem. 

Change water sources

You may need to take more drastic measures to address the issue, depending on the amount of iron in your water and how effectively previous restrictions have worked. This can entail constructing a new well or, if it’s feasible, switching to a different water source, such as a municipal one. 

Aeration system  

An aeration system may be the best option if your water contains significant amounts of iron. Iron and manganese are oxidized by the air that these systems introduce into the water. 

Filtration system

Whole-house filtration systems enhance the flavor and appearance of water by eliminating buildup and lowering pollutants. 

Here is the greatest variety of water purifiers on the market for assisting you in removing iron from the water. 

Iron filters

It is preferable to choose iron filters if the water in your residence or place of business contains an excessive amount of iron. To achieve effective particulate matter removed from the water, these filters employ high-quality Ozone and iron removal media. 

The filters collect the iron in the water and remove it from your water supply because they combine filtration and oxidation. 

Shock chlorination

Shock chlorination might be a time-consuming operation, but it is useful for getting rid of slimy bacterial iron. The process disinfects your well water by using a high dose of chlorine. By shocking the well, you can prevent bacteria from forming compounds with the water’s iron, allowing you to use iron filters, water softeners, or sediment filters to remove the iron. 

Water softeners

The best way to help eliminate ferrous iron from water is by using a water softener. Water softeners may remove ferrous iron from hard water in addition to treating the hard water’s minerals. However, it is recommended to choose specialist iron filters if your water has a high iron concentration.


Iron is a health risk if it’s present in great amounts in the water you consume every day. To keep your household as healthy as possible, get your water tested and try the measures above to reduce iron in your water.


Jay is a health and wellness enthusiast with expertise in water quality and nutrition. As a knowledgeable advocate for holistic well-being, Jay successfully manages Type 2 Diabetes through informed lifestyle choices. Committed to sharing reliable and authoritative insights, Jay combines firsthand experience with a passion for enhancing health."