both the disease and the potentially negative consequences that rashes, burns and blemishes can produce. “For obvious reasons, the skin, hair, and nails have not been the topmost concerns in oncology — the most important goal is to treat and cure the cancer,” says Mario Lacouture, M.D
., who specializes in dermatologic conditions that result from cancer treatments. “But skin side effects can affect patients' sense of self and their interactions with others. These side effects can lead to costly treatments, affect overall health, and perhaps most significantly, they may require that anticancer treatments be reduced or stopped altogether.”
TIPS FOR MANAGING SKIN ISSUES
Upon receiving a cancer diagnosis, patients concerned about the potential impact that treatment may have on their skin should discuss their options with their physicians. After initiating such discussions, men and women being treated for cancer can take additional steps to maintain their appearance and quality of life both during and after treatment.
• Alter your skin care routine.
Upon receiving a cancer diagnosis, patients must make
a host of lifestyle adjustments to many things, including to their skin care routines. Intense skin rashes and burns are common side effects of chemotherapy and radiation, and certain side effects are actually an indicator that the treatment is working. While such consequences can affect patients’ self-image, these side effects are entirely manageable.
“What many patients do not realize is that most dermatologic side effects are manageable, allowing people to maintain their quality of life and continue their cancer treatments,” says Lacouture.
• Embrace antioxidants
. Often touted as miracle ingredients in a host of foods, antioxidants can be found beyond the dinner table as well. Antioxidants protect skin by limiting the production of free radicals, which can damage skin cells. One of the most promising antioxidants is astaxanthin, a powerful antioxidant that is only now beginning to receive widespread recognition for its restorative properties. While astaxanthin and other antioxidants can relieve the pain and inflammation in the skin that cancer patients often feel, they also can help those suffering from less severe, non-cancer related skin problems, such as sunburn, rosacea, dry skin and UV damage.
• Find the right skin care.
Skin damage is an often overlooked side effect of cancer treatment. But cancer patients should know that side effects like skin rashes and burns are manageable and don’t have to negatively impact self-image or quality of life. In fact, a specialty line of skin care has been created specifically to meet the unique needs of people battling cancer.
Cancer survivor Lindy Snider worked with dermatologists, oncologists, nurses, and skin care formulators to address the issue, developing Lindi Skin (www.lindiskin.com
), a collection of skin care products designed specifically for individuals undergoing treatment for cancer and related disorders. Combining state-of-the-art technology with innovative natural ingredients, Snider and her team designed an exclusive formulation of concentrated botanicals, the LSA Complex®, that delivers
high levels of beneficial antioxidants like astaxanthin to the skin. Lindi Skin products include a host of botanical
extracts boasting anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral properties, while providing a soothing and gentle solution even for those patients with especially sensitive skin.
Lindi Skin's products are clinically proven
to soothe and alleviate common skin-related side effects like dry, itchy skin, dermatitis, rash, and hand-foot syndrome. Lindi Skin also provides revolutionary Skin Coolers
that instantly cool painful radiation burns while delivering aloe & green tea to encourage a moist healing environment for skin damaged by radiation. The Lindi Skin website
offers in-depth information about skin care during cancer treatment as well as tools to help you select the proper skin care items.
Users have come to rely on Lindi Skin as they battle cancer and the side effects of cancer treatment. “Tarceva, the medication I take for lung cancer, has played havoc with my skin, which has become unbelievably dry and sensitive,” says Phyllis of Coral Gables, FL. “(Lindi Skin) products are the only ones I can use on my face and body. They actually soothe, whereas all others create a burning sensation.”
The effects that cancer treatment can have on a person’s skin have long been overlooked. But patients who have suffered through skin rashes and burns will be glad to know that a growing trend in treating cancer focuses on curing both the disease and helping patients maintain their self-esteem and quality of life. A new movement combining oncology and dermatology aims to address