Having treatment for cancer can take its toll on your skin, hair and nails. Just when you’re fighting hard to beat the illness, the treatments start to change your skin condition – and it’s something that not all women are prepared for.
Different treatments can have different effects on your skin condition, too.
Chemotherapy often causes hair loss, which most people expect, but can also make your nails brittle and lined as well as causing your skin to dry out and become more sensitive than normal. Hormone therapy for some types of cancer tends to have milder effects than chemotherapy, although it can sometimes lead to dry skin and rashes. Radiation therapy tends to affect the skin and hair in the areas being treated. Depending on your skin type, the health of your skin before you started treatment and the treatment you’re having, your skin may become drier or more oily, sore or red, or more sensitive.
Why have a facial?
When you’re going through the stress, and feeling the physical and emotional effects of cancer treatment, you need a little TLC. Sometimes, something simple like a relaxing, nourishing facial can just give you that feeling of normality again, and the simple act of being touched and massaged will help reconnect you with your body after weeks or months of poking and prodding. Your esthetician will also be able to recommend products to use at home that will be gentle and care for your skin. Sensitivity can be a real problem for people after chemotherapy especially, and there are some strange, unexpected effects that you might notice like not being able to cope with strong smells. Make sure that you tell your therapist about your treatment so that she can design you a suitable regime that will take care of your skin properly.
Choosing your own skincare products
Treat your skin to the best quality products possible when you’re going through cancer treatment regime, and it will make you feel so much better. Now’s the time to splash out on really good skincare to counteract the effects of the chemicals you’re taking in.
When you’re choosing skincare, look for products that suit your normal skin type, but also remember that your skin may become drier during treatment. The keywords to look for are nourishing and gentle, and suitable for sensitive skin. Ask if you can try testers and samples of the products you’d like to buy, just to make sure they feel nice on your skin, and don’t cause a reaction.
Everyday skincare routine
- Avoid highly perfumed products
- Choose gentle, soap-free cleansers
- Avoid toners or other products containing alcohol.
- Use a hydrating moisturizer every day
- If your skin is itchy, use soothing emollient creams when needed
- If your skin is oily skin, look for a wash-off cleanser and use hydrating, oil-free moisturizer.
- Foundations, bronzers and green-tinted primers can help with any changes in your skin tone
- ALWAYS use sunscreen with a high SPF