First off, if you notice any skin changes, always let your doctor or your cancer care team know about them as soon as possible. Many cancer treatments can cause your skin to change and it’s important to keep your doctor informed of any treatment side affects you might be experiencing. Skin conditions like rash, itching and dryness are very common side effects of cancer treatment. These side effects can be painful and may affect your appearance. Your health care team or your Oncology Trained Esthetician is a key source of information on how to care for your skin during treatment.
Here are some easy peasy, and practical things you can do at home to help keep those nasty little side effects under control.
Tips to reduce the discomfort of a rash & dry skin:
- Wear soft, non-irritating fabrics next to your skin.
- Avoid using hot or cold packs on treated areas of skin unless your doctor says it’s okay.
- Use a moisturizing face serum or balm, I love Province Apothecary’s Rejuvenating + Hydrating Face Serum, it is such a lovely product, made with German Chamomile & Rose to soothe redness and reduce the appearance of scars! At a lower price point Beauty Archaeology's Argan Boost Balm IS AMAZING! It smells heavenly, and you can even use it on your hair, to tame dry, frizzy, unruly hair! If your looking for a great moisturizer, look for an organic, alcohol-free, fragrance-free, hypoallergenic moisturizer, like Province Apothecary's Nourishing + Revitalizing Moisturizer, it is a product I absolutely adore! So nourishing and healing to the skin.
- Please be gentle with your skin. Be careful not to scratch, extract or rub or scrub your skin – for example, gently pat your skin dry after a shower.
- Drink plenty of fluids. Water.... Water....Water and more Water! This can help keep your skin hydrated. If water is getting a bit old and you have a craving for something a little sparkling, a favorite drink of mine is Kombucha! It is loaded with skin boosting benefits as well as amazing for your health! We will get into that in another post, because, well, Kombucha deserves its very own post!
- Avoid caffeine or alcohol, it can dehydrate you, which, let’s get real, you’re not going to get rid of your cup of liquid gold in the morning or your sometimes much needed, rescue glass of red in the evening. Just try and keep it as a treat and not as a staple in your diet.
- Keep your skin moist. To reduce skin dryness, shower in lukewarm water instead of hot and limit showers to once a day.
- After you shower, apply a moisturizing body oil on your skin while it’s still damp, I’m smitten with Province Apothecary’s Radiant Body Oil & Maya Chia The Revitalizer Supercritical Body Oil right now! I’m such a huge fan of body oils, they quickly absorb deep into the skin to effectively nourish and soften, and boost cellular circulation. Remember if you are looking for more of a body cream get one that is alcohol-free, fragrance-free and hypoallergenic like 100% Pure's Coconut Nourishing Body Cream, it is an utterly irresistible body cream! Apply a body cream or oil to your skin at least twice daily for optimum results.
- Protect your skin from the sun! Some cancer treatments may make your skin more sensitive to the sun. Ask your doctor if you should add a sunscreen to your skin care regime. If your physician feels you can benefit from a daily sunscreen, stick to an organic sunscreen, I’m loving Josh Rosebrooks Nutrient Day Cream it is so velvety smooth and the skin just adores it! For a lower price point option Badger Balm Damascus Rose Face Sunscreen is a wonderful choice, and one that you can pick up at your local health food store.
Last but certainly not least, to protect your skin when you go outdoors, wear a broad-brimmed hat, long-sleeved shirt and long pants!
Your skin & health will thank you!