Skin Support for
and Radiation Patients
Skin care during Chemotherapy
and other treatments
Sometimes cancer and cancer treatment can cause skin issues. Often these changes are simply cosmetic, but other times they may require attention such as a rash, dry or itchy skin, color changes or extreme sensitivity to light. Some skin problems resolve themselves after you finish treatment. Other issues may linger.
What types of treatments cause skin issues?
Many types of chemotherapy, immunotherapy, targeted therapy, and stem cell transplant may cause side effects that lead to skin issues.
What are common skin changes during treatment?
During treatment skin can become flaky, red, and sometimes painful. It’s often caused by not having enough oil and water in the layers of the skin. Common causes of dry skin include dehydration, heat, cold, poor nutrition, and side effects of treatment.
Some treatments can cause Itching. Common causes of itching in people with cancer include dry skin, allergies, side effects of medicines, and cancer treatment. Other illnesses and certain kinds of cancer can also cause itching. Some patients experience a persistent itch in response to treatment, including chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy. Severely itchy skin may make you restless and anxious. By continually scratching, you may also cause sores that make you vulnerable to infections.
Dermavitality natural organic paraben free skin lotions and creams have natural essential oils and botanicals added for the therapeutic benefits.
In your day-to-day routine:
• Keep your home well ventilated and the temperature set to a cool 60° to 70° F to avoid sweating.
• Wear loose-fitting soft clothes that won’t irritate your skin.· Drink plenty of water and other fluids.
• Get enough sleep. If the itch keeps you up at night, ask your care team or your pharmacist about whether you should take antihistamines.
Tips to help you avoid scratching your skin
• Apply cool, wet packs to the itchy areas.
• Keep your nails clean and short to reduce damage to your skin when you can’t help but scratch.
• If you find yourself scratching without noticing, consider wearing soft gloves.
• Instead of scratching the itch, try rubbing, vibration or pressure to avoid breaking the skin.
• Get your mind off the itch by reading, watching TV, listening to music, or engaging in social activities.
• Take anti-itch medications as directed.
• Ask your care team for more tips and advice. Your doctor may also be able to prescribe medications and recommend over-the-counter remedies.
• If you experience these other signs and symptoms that may come with treatment-related itch, contact your care team.
A skin rash is a common side effect of certain types of cancer treatments. Rashes usually develop within a few weeks of receiving the treatment but can develop at any time during your treatment. “Chemo rash” simply refers to the various types of rashes that may develop in response to cancer treatment. In fact, not only chemotherapy, but also targeted therapy, immunotherapy, radiation therapy and bone marrow transplant may cause a rash. It tends to look like acne, and in some cases, it’s a sign that your treatment is working.
WHAT HERBS ARE BEST FOR SOOTHING IRRITATED SKIN?
Calendula also has astringent, anti-inflammatory properties that make it excellent for soothing skin irritations and burns. It’s also full of antioxidants which help protect the skin from oxidative damage.
Oats oil (Avena sativa)
Oat oil has powerful benefits for irritated skin. They’re probably most known for their ability to calm itchy skin, but they’re also great for dry, sensitive skin. Oats are also full of protein, vitamin E, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Chamomile is soothing to the skin when applied topically. Rich in anti-inflammatory plant compounds, this herb can help with many common skin conditions like eczema and rosacea. It’s also high in antioxidants and is great for repairing and restoring skin barrier function to help skin retain moisture.
Marshmallow root contains compounds that have “mucilage,” which is a slippery substance that helps soothe skin and seal the skin barrier. Studies show that marshmallow root can be an effective treatment for eczema and dermatitis.
Aloe vera is a top choice to cool and calm dry, irritated skin. The jelly-like insides of this desert plant have amazing anti-inflammatory and healing properties and also act as a humectant and emollient to hydrate your skin.
Some patients do not experience any of these symptoms but many experience things such as:
• Itchy scalp
• Tenderness, pain, or soreness on the scalp
• Cradle cap (crusty or oily scaly patches) or dry, flaky scalp
• The scalp feeling warm to the touch
• Rashes in small clusters
• Sore bumps known as folliculitis (inflammation of the hair follicles)
Dermavitality formulated a natural and organic formulas to help with dry itchy scalp.
Photosensitivity related to cancer treatments
Several treatments, including some types of chemotherapy, radiation therapy and stem cell transplant, may make your skin more sensitive to light. You will need additional protection from the sun to prevent sunburn when you are outdoors.
• Wear long sleeves, long pants and a wide-brimmed hat to protect your skin from the sun, especially from 10 am to 4 pm.
• Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen (to protect against both UVA and UVB rays) of at least SPF 15 generously and reapply at least every two hours.