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How to Care for Your Skin During Chemotherapy?

How to Care for Your Skin During Chemotherapy?

Woman after chemotherapy at home

Chemotherapy is a medical treatment that kills cancer cells and healthy cells too. This is why many patients experience some unwanted side effects fo the treatment that includes dry skin, hair loss and brittle nails. 

These side effects, especially the thought of losing your hair can be very devastating. But cancer patients can cope these situations in many ways such as cutting their hair short or moisturizing their skin regularly.

This article highlights the various ways by which you can take care of your skin during your chemotherapy sessions.

Skin Care During Chemotherapy:

Chemotherapy turns your skin dry and irritated. It can also become very sensitive. Cancer patients can minimize these skin problems by taking care of their skin or deeply hydrating it at least one week before the treatment. Then they can continue this skincare routine during the treatment. 

Following are the tips that you can follow to take care of your skin during your chemotherapy sessions:

  1. Avoid long, hot showers or baths. Hot tubs can increase the blood flow to the skin and ultimately to areas of inflammation. Hot baths can only worsen the situation.
  2. If your skin turns extremely dry and irritated, try using ammonium lactate creams which will surely help to increase moisture within your skin. These creams are available as over-the-counter treatments.
  3. Go for moisturizers rather than lotions. This is because moisturizer have a thicker consistency and are helpful at providing better hydration to your dry and flaky skin. Reapply the moisturizer at night and always use moisturizer after you wash your hands.
  4. Use gentle, fragrance-free soaps and detergents.
  5. Never forget to use sunscreen when going out into the sunlight. This is because chemotherapy makes your skin more susceptible to sunburn. Opt for sunscreen with an SPF value of at least 30 and make sure to check that your sunscreen provides protection against both UVA and UVB rays. Reapply your sunscreen every two hours, especially when you are swimming.
  6. You surely do not need to avoid the sun but always protect yourself from the damaging sun rays, Wear a wide-brimmed hat and sun-protective clothing when stepping out into the sun. 
  7. Itching can be a common side effect of chemotherapy treatment and can make your skin very dry. Itch relief can be provided by over-the-counter hydrocortisone creams. Additionally, steroids and anesthetic medications can also treat itching in cancer patients but always use them after consulting your doctor. You can also opt for oral medications if itching disturbs your sleep.
  8. Chemotherapy treatment can also cause color changes especially in patient receiving chemotherapy treatments for breast or colon cancer. This can be effectively treated with exfoliators containing salicylic acid and bleaching creams.

Bibliography

How To Take Care Of Your Skin During And After Chemotherapy. (2021, June 14). Retrieved from Riverchase Dermatology

See Also

Cleveland Clinic. (n.d.). Retrieved from Cancer Treatment: Skin, Hair and Nail Care During and After Treatment

Grey, H. (2019, August 28). A Soothing Skincare Routine Before and After Chemo. Retrieved from Healthline

How to Care for Your Skin During and After Cancer Treatment

Courtesy of Cleveland Clinic
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