Chemotherapy, radiation and other cancer treatments can create side-effects that are tough on your skin. The most common Skin Issues related to cancer treatment include:
All too often, these skin issues are unexpected and sometimes are left untreated by people who just assume that "it's just part of the deal"... but it's not!
Being aware of the potential skin issues is half the battle. Everyone has heard about potential nausea and hair loss, but most people are unaware of what may happen to their skin. A 2010 study by Supportive Care in Cancer found that nearly a third of cancer patients reported unexpected Dry Skin and Skin Irritation. Simply by being aware of the potential side effects, people battling cancer can minimize the psychological stress often caused by these skin issues.
A good preventative regimen of gentle, pure skincare can help avoid or minimize many of the side-effects of treatment. Regimens begun after skin issues have started can be quite effective as well, but it's always best to start a good regimen before the appearance of any skin issues.
Much of the skincare on the market is designed to promote younger-looking skin, and one of the main ways to accomplish youthful skin is to exfoliate, peel & strip away the top layer of skin cells. Many skincare lines contain alpha-hydroxy, acids, and other agents designed to peel away skin cells. When you are undergoing chemo, heavy exfoliants and harsh scrubs are not appropriate.
Chemo can play games with your nervous system. You may develop strange reactions to things that have never bothered you before. The last thing you want to do is bombard your skin with new potential allergens.
Your average skincare is designed primarily by a marketing team. They care mostly about what products will look good on TV and will appeal to the senses. To that end, they load their skincare with perfumes, dyes and other harsh chemicals. During chemo, you should avoid those perfumes, dyes and heavy metals that can cause irritation and other adverse reactions.
Some skincare is heavy with drying agents and "anti-oil" ingredients - included to prevent shiny, oily skin. During chemo, skin tends to be dry without any help, so look for skincare that delivers moisture, rather than stripping it away.