Chemotherapy and radiation, while killing the malignant cells that are the cause of our cancer, affect our skin in a negative way. Taking good care of our skin becomes a top priority while undergoing both types of treatments. Keeping some helpful tips in mind will prove prudent and may reduce your symptoms.
Some important things to remember for good chemo skin care have to do with hydrating, washing, moisturizing and soothing. Start with hydrating your body and your skin. Drinking plenty of water helps keeps your skin from drying out. Washing with mild soaps and shampoos help, too. It is also better to take quick, warm showers and avoid long, hot ones. Patting yourself dry gently will irritate your skin much less then vigorously rubbing it with a towel.
Moisturizing is a key factor in caring for your skin as well. Lotions, serums, balms, and creams all help to nourish your skin and provide a protective barrier to keep the bad out, and the good in. These products are good at soothing your skin, too. They can really help give you some relief if you develop rashes, flaking, cracking, and blistering.
Good radiation skin care follows the same guidelines, with a few additions. Moisturize at bedtime and opposite of your treatments. If you are treated in the morning, apply lotions in the afternoon. If you are treated in the afternoon, apply creams in the morning. You want to leave plenty of time, around four hours, for them to soak in before radiation.
Do not put cosmetics, perfumes, and powders on sections of your skin being radiated. You also want to avoid shaving any treated areas if at all possible. If you must shave, use only an electric razor. And do not put any heating pads, ice packs, or water bottles on treated skin, either. Avoid hot tubs as well.
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