Are Your Skin and Nails Suffering From Cancer Treatment? 9 Tips
Changes in skin and nails during cancer treatment can be upsetting. They can also put you at risk for infection. Find out how a few changes in your routine can help.
When you’re being treated for cancer, your skin and nails can suffer collateral damage. Certain cancer therapies can dry your skin and make your nails ridged and brittle.
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However, a few simple changes in your personal hygiene routine can limit the damage, says Michele Taylor, a licensed aesthetician in the Department of Hematology/Oncology.
We’ve asked her to share her dos and don’ts for skin and nail care during treatment for cancer.
If you’re undergoing chemotherapy, dry skin is inevitable. And radiation therapy can often cause radiation dermatitis, which can trigger a rash, flaking and peeling skin, or blisters at the treatment site.
Beyond their appearance, these skin changes can lead to complications. Dry skin gets itchy, and excessive scratching may create wounds that put you at risk for infection. To care for your skin during chemotherapy or radiation treatments, Ms. Taylor recommends the following:
Chemotherapy sometimes affects your fingernails and toenails, which can develop lines and ridges. The nail beds can turn brown or black, and nails may even fall off. To care for your nails during chemotherapy, Ms. Taylor recommends the following:
The side effects of cancer treatment sometimes pose a challenge. Following these practical tips can lessen their impact on your skin and nails, says Ms. Taylor.