Unveiling the Best Skincare for Cancer Patients

Skin changes in cancer treatment

Cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy are known to cause several side effects, including changes in the skin. These treatments can make the skin extremely sensitive and prone to dryness, itching, rashes, and even burns. Moreover, some targeted therapies can lead to acneiform rash - a condition that resembles acne but is actually a reaction to medication.

Therefore, it becomes crucial for cancer patients to follow a skincare routine that caters specifically to their needs. Skincare for cancer patients should be gentle yet effective in managing these side effects. 

Choosing the Right Products

  1. The first step towards effective skincare for cancer patients is choosing the right products. It's advisable to opt for products that are free from harsh chemicals and fragrances as they can further irritate sensitive skin. Look out for products with soothing ingredients like aloe vera, chamomile, oatmeal and soap-free cleansers. 

  2. The use of moisturising creams will ensure better skin health during your cancer treatments. They help combat dryness and creams that contain oatmeal, menthol or 10% urea will provide relief from itching. By using thick creams or ointments rather than lotions, you can ensure better skin hydration.

  3. Sun protection is another crucial aspect of skincare for cancer patients as their skin becomes more susceptible to sun damage during treatment. A broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 should be used daily.

  4. For dry or sore lips, use a lip balm containing moisturising ingredients such as petroleum jelly (Vaseline®), shea butter or glycerine.

 What skin products to avoid 

  1. Do not use products containing sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS), especially if you have eczema.

  2. Avoid petroleum jelly if you are having radiotherapy to the head or neck, or if you are using oxygen.

  3. Avoid any products containing colouring, if you are having a targeted therapy drug. 

  4. To keep extra safe you should buy new makeup to use during and after treatment and replace regularly to reduce the risk of infections. 


Skincare routine

A basic skincare routine for cancer patients should include cleansing, moisturising, and sun protection.

  1. Cleansing: Cleanse your skin twice daily with a gentle cleanser that doesn't strip your skin off its natural oils. 

  2. Moisturising: Apply moisturiser immediately after cleansing when your skin is still damp. This helps lock in moisture.

  3. Sun Protection: Apply sunscreen generously on all exposed areas at least 30 minutes before stepping out in the sun.

  4. You may also consider adding products like hydrating serums or calming masks depending on your specific needs. 

Besides following this simple routine, you should also consider how the water affects your skin after washing. The temperature of the water makes a big difference. Hot water removes moisture and oils from the skin, so using warm water may help improve dryness, along with moisturising regularly. To reduce irritation, pat your skin dry rather than rubbing after washing, and use a fresh, clean towel to do so. 

Professional Skincare Treatments

While home care routines are essential in managing most side effects caused by cancer treatments on the skin, professional help may be required in certain cases. For example, severe rashes or burns. Dermatologists or oncology-trained aestheticians can provide specialised treatments designed for cancer patients' unique needs.

Oncology facials are one such treatment which combines gentle cleansing, exfoliation (if suitable), hydration and massage techniques specially designed to soothe irritated skin but also provide relaxation which aids the overall well-being of the patient. 

Boost your confidence with skincare

Skincare might seem like a secondary concern when dealing with something as serious as cancer; however taking care of your skin during this time not only helps manage side effects but also boosts confidence and contributes positively towards mental health.

Remember everyone's journey through cancer treatment is unique so what works best may vary from person to person. Always consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new skincare regimen or product while undergoing treatment.

In conclusion, good skincare practices coupled with right products can go a long way in ensuring comfort and confidence during this challenging time making it an integral part of care routine for any patient battling this disease.


Learn how to cope with nail changes with our blog - Coping with Nails Changes During Cancer Treatment 

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