Chemotherapy causes various side effects, including skin and nail problems. Proper skincare and nail care is therefore important to keep your nails and skin from deteriorating. Since your reactions toward chemotherapy medicines may be unique, the skincare and nail care must be done carefully, and you must always consult your doctor about what products you can use and how you apply the treatments.
If you are worried about your skin and nail condition, don’t forget to ask your doctor about how certain chemo medications may damage your skin and nails.
Skincare during Chemotherapy
During chemotherapy, your skin may become rough, brittle, dull, and dry. If you already have dry or sensitive skin prior to the chemo, your skin condition may worsen once the treatment starts. This can be very uncomfortable and may even cause imperfections once the chemo is finally over. This is why skincare during chemotherapy is important.
Generally, here are things you can do to keep your skin healthy during chemotherapy:
- Shower with lukewarm or cold instead of hot water, and don’t spend too much time showering. Hot water and long showering can cause your skin to dry.
- Use cream or ointment instead of lotion. Ointment or cream has thick consistency and great to prevent dry kin. If your skin is especially dry and even scaly, you can try applying body butter after bath.
- Use mild skincare products. This means no harsh soap and no detergents. Use soap that is formulated specially for sensitive or allergic skin. Also, you should avoid cologne, harsh fabric detergent, and fabric softener.
Your skin condition is usually temporary; once the chemo is over, the condition usually goes away. However, you should avoid harsh products for a while just in case. Also, if you experience severe inflammation, or red rashes that are open or producing discharge, you need to visit a doctor immediately, because they can be signs of infection.
Nail Car during Chemotherapy
During chemotherapy, your nails can experience conditions such as discolorations, dullness, and brittle. Nail care is therefore important to keep nails in good condition. Here is what you can do:
- Do not cut or trim your cuticles, especially if they become painful or reddened during chemo.
- Make sure your nails are cut short, because shorter nails are better if they are brittle during chemo.
- If you wear nail polish, choose product that doubles as protection from elements. Read the ingredients of the product and the review to protect your nails.
- If you need to do something that exposes your nails to harsh products, such as washing dishes, make sure to wear gloves. Dishwashing detergent can cause more nail problems on sensitive nails.
- During chemotherapy, do not get manicure and pedicure. Also, if possible, do not change nail polish often, since nail polish remover usually contains ingredients that are not too gentle toward brittle nails.
Once your chemotherapy is over, the nail conditions usually go away. However, keep away from harsh products for a couple weeks after chemo just in case. Proper nail care and skincare will help you from getting additional problems even during chemotherapy.