When people are bravely battling cancer, they’re also bravely battling the many difficult side effects of cancer treatment. Chemotherapy, radiation, and anticancer medications cause a wide range of often painful, uncomfortable, or unappealing conditions, such as hair loss and nausea. But as your body’s first line of defense against many internal and external chemicals, germs, and toxins, your skin can take a beating during cancer treatment.
While the focus during cancer treatment is understandably on treating cancer, spending some time addressing uncomfortable and unattractive skin problems can give a psychological boost to patients and help ease some of the discomforts that are an inevitable part of fighting cancer.
Common Skin Problems Related to Cancer Treatment
Different treatment regimens can cause different skin problems. For example:
- Anti-cancer medications can cause rashes that look like measles or acne.
- Radiation therapy can cause swelling, itching, pain, or inflammation.
- Chemotherapy attacks cancer cells but also causes collateral damage to healthy cells, including skin cells. This weakening of skin cells can cause increased sensitivity to sunlight, changes in skin color, acne-like rash, and itching.
Skin Care During Cancer Treatment
To address the disruption to your skin caused by cancer treatment, try these strategies:
- Look for gentle, fragrance-free moisturizing creams and ointments. Apply twice a day, ideally after showering.
- Take those showers in luke-warm water, not hot water, and avoid scrubs or loofahs which could scrape away essential oils you need now more than ever.
- Use mild soaps.
- Avoid skin-care products containing perfumes, dyes and other harsh chemicals
- Wear loose-fitting clothes that can minimize irritation and chafing.
- Protect your skin from the sun even more than usual. Be generous with your use of sunscreen and wear hats and clothing that keep your skin out of direct sunlight.
- Feel free to use cosmetics on rashes.
- Tell your doctors about any skin problems you are experiencing and ask for their guidance in your particular case.
At Dr. Mariano Busso’s Miami aesthetic dermatology clinic, we work with cancer patients and survivors to address any skin problems or issues which arise during or after their battle with this scourge of a disease. We can work with and consult your treating physicians to develop a skin care regimen best suited to your needs.
Dr. Mariano Busso: Miami Dermatology Help for Cancer Survivors
An expert in all things skincare and aesthetics, Dr. Mariano Busso has coached physicians all over the country on his innovative techniques and quality of care. If you are a cancer patient or survivor, call our Miami offices today at 305-857-0144 to schedule your consultation and learn more about how we can partner with you for better skin and an increased sense of confidence and well-being as you conquer cancer.