How to take care of my skin during chemotherapy

The chemotherapy is a treatment comprising the administration of drugs that act on cancer cells, either by destroying them or by preventing them from multiplying.

The drugs act on other cells in the body that develop rapidly, and this explains the side effects of chemotherapy

But our good cells are resistant and very numerous, while the cancer cells are much smaller and are more fragile. This explains the effectiveness of the treatment.

These drugs are very powerful comparing other drugs. Their dosage, the rhythm of their administration, the way in which they are associated with each other depends on the condition and the pathology of the patient.

Depending on the disease or the stage of the disease, chemotherapy may be the first treatment used or may be complementary to surgery or radiotherapy. We will then talk about preventive chemotherapy.

How To Take Care Of Your Skin During And After Chemotherapy?
How To Take Care Of Your Skin During And After Chemotherapy?

The essentials of chemotherapy

  • The majority of drugs used in chemotherapy are administered intravenously, very often through a catheter or an implantable chamber to avoid repeated punctures in the vein.
  • The chemotherapy photo consists in destroying cancer cells by laser (light radiation), after sensitizing them to light by injecting a photosensitizing product.
  • Chemotherapy sessions can be organized in three ways: in conventional hospitalization, day hospital or at home. The frequency and duration of chemotherapy will depend on the type of cancer, the goals of the treatment, the drugs used and the response of your body to them.

Cancer treatments such as chemotherapy, radiotherapy or hormone therapy cause side effects, the most obvious of which is obviously hair loss but also skin damage. So how to take care of your skin during a treatment?

What disorders are possible for a skin under treatment?

Cancer treatments can sometimes cause redness, plaque, dryness, tightness or acne … They are called skin side effects. They are not systematic because everyone is unique and reacts differently to different treatments. It should be noted that most of these effects are reversible at the end of treatment and that generally all these skin modifications can be relieved by appropriate dermocosmetic care.

A syndrome called hand-foot can appear during a treatment. It particularly affects the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet, is characterized by redness, swelling, dryness or blisters. It is generated by certain molecules of chemotherapy and targeted therapies. 

If you suffer from hand-foot syndrome, apply a moisturizing agent regularly and generously to the skin. To prevent this syndrome, you can provide a manicure and pedicure before starting treatment, if the hands and feet are already a little damaged (presence of horn) it will limit the impact and appearance of this syndrome.

When erythema (or burn) occurs during radiation therapy, apply a moisturizer between sessions, but never before a session, as advised by your doctor. Also avoid perfumes, deodorants, lotions before the radiotherapy session. Report any medications to your radiotherapy oncologist, as some medications cause special sensitivity to the rays. If burns do occur, tell your radiation therapist.

My skin will become dry or oily?

The problem of cancer treatments is that they can be eliminated by the urinary tract but also by the pores of the skin which can make it dry, sensitive, with feelings of warming but also for some people make it fat.

What to use then as body cleansers
What to use then as body cleansers?

What to use then as body cleansers?

When washing, it is recommended to use cleaning gels without soap or overgrown loaves that respect the acidic pH of the skin. Do not use ordinary soaps whose pH is not suitable but especially because they often contain compounds such as alcohol or perfumes.

For the face, to clean it without attacking it whatever the type of skin, micellar water can be used because it does not attack the skin. The ideal is even to use a micellar jelly to pass it not with a cotton that will automatically brush the skin but with the fingers to massage it to restore elasticity to the face.

To rinse the whole thing a pschitt of thermal water and let the water drip then very gently drying the surplus with a soft cotton (and not a towel that can be a little rough and damage the skin.)

What face creams to use?

Once the face is clean, the skin must be moisturized with a day cream that is well nourishing and comfortable. If your usual skin care cream and / or serum does not cause reactions, you can continue to use them. Otherwise choose products without perfume, paraben, preservative to minimize the possible allergic reactions and adapted to the treatment of weakened skins.

Pay close attention to the so-called miracle use of essential oils, which can be very aggressive on tired skin and then prefer vegetable oils such as sweet almond oil, argon or wheat germ.

Also beware of chemicals that contain a lot of preservatives but also organic products because some natural products can be too strong and cause allergic reactions of the skin.

In any case whatever the products (washing gel, soaps, make-up removers, cream or sunscreen) choose the dermocosmetiques with simple formulas without perfume without paraben and without preservative. The brands La Roche Posay, Avene Uriage offer a wide range very pleasant and accessible to all.

Also check 5 Benefits of wearing your Sunglasses

In case of acne specific formulas for acne also exist in these brands of dermo cosmetics.

And for an anti-aging cream, anti wrinkles?

Favor creams and products soaked in hyaluronic acid because it is a natural part of the epidermis that helps maintain a good level of hydration by capturing water and keeping it in the deep layers of the skin. Hyaluronic acid is known to restore volume to the skin and it reduces wrinkles and imperfections. Forget anti-wrinkle creams based on retinol or fruit acids that may attack and irritate your skin.

Should I protect my skin from the sun?

It is even the main gesture of protection of the skin. On top of the day cream, think about adding the indispensable and obligatory sunscreen cream anti UVA and anti UVB with maximum protection indices even if you go out little because do not forget that windows and clouds do not filter UVA.