What might you experience ?

Some people find it hard to feel confident and comfortable with the physical changes that cancer can bring. Of course, it’s all part of the cancer journey but it doesn't make it any easier. For many of us looking good helps us feel good. So whatever it is that might have knocked your body confidence, we’ve got some ideas to help you embrace your new body and feel beautiful again.

This guide will cover:

  • Hair loss

  • Skin and nail changes

  • Changes to your appearance

  • Anxiety

Why does this happen?

  • Hair loss -  Chemotherapy can cause hair changes which range from mild hair thinning to complete hair loss, known as alopecia. Losing your hair can be a very stressful and sad process. For many, this change in their physical appearance has a huge impact on their self-esteem which is why some people feel it is the toughest side effect to deal with   
  • Skin and nail changes -  These can range from dry thinning skin, to weak brittle nails, to scars. Your cancer treatments cause a whole host of skin and nail changes which can leave you feeling self conscious or underconfident. But there are lots of ways of giving your skin a boost to help you feel more like you
  • Changes to your appearance -  Cancer treatments can change your appearance and leave you looking and feeling less like your usual self. Whether it’s losing your eyebrows and eyelashes or coping with a change in complexion, make-up can help make you look and feel better
  • Anxiety -  When you don’t look and feel like you anymore it can be scary and stressful. Trying to accept sudden changes in your looks can be tough and some people feel anxious, angry or even depressed. This is because our physical appearance is so closely linked to our feelings of self esteem. Finding ways of accepting these changes will help you feel confident again

What can you do about it?

 If you’re worried about losing your hair

If you’re worried about losing your hair

You can look bald and beautiful but if you prefer to have a few more options then don’t worry. There are lots of alternatives to help you feel confident.  

  • Hats and headscarves:  If your hair has fallen out you may decide to cover your head with a soft hat or scarf. Finding one to match your style and personality shouldn’t be hard as there are plenty to choose from

  • Hair building fibres:  These are a range of products designed to create the appearance of thicker, fuller hair. So if you’re suffering from thinning hair either during cancer treatment or whilst it grows back after treatment, these fibres can be a useful way of disguising it

  • Cold caps:  If the thought of losing your hair is just too hard, you may want to opt for a cooling cap.These can reduce hair loss by cooling your scalp during treatment to minimise the amount of chemotherapy reaching your scalp and hair follicles
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If you’re having problems with your skin and nails

If you’re having problems with your skin and nails

Helping nourish your skin will mean it is more likely to cope with the demands of cancer treatment and help it to heal from the damage caused by cancer treatments.

  • Nail oils:  These help repair the damage caused to nails by cancer treatments particularly if they are dry or flaking. By using regular moisturisers and restorative oils you can help improve the condition of your nails, making them look and feel healthier

  • Skin moisturisers:  By using regular moisturisers to help keep your skin hydrated and healthy you’ll be able to improve the texture and feel of your skin. Having healthy glowing skin will be sure to make you feel confident

  • Dermatological oils:  Natural oils such as aloe vera and flax seed help reduce the appearance of scars and stretch marks by increasing the skin’s collagen production for better elasticity and strength. Helping you look and feel great in or out of clothes

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If you’re looking for the right make-up

If you’re looking for the right make-up

Using make up can help you look more like you, making you feel brighter and happier and ready to face the world.

  • Eyebrow kits:  If you‘ve lost your eyebrows or are worried they look a bit sparse, try using a brow pencil or gel to improve their definition. Helping frame your face and helping you look and feel more like you

  • Strengthening mascaras:  These mascaras contain natural ingredients which help nourish your lashes and simultaneously gives you the cosmetic effect of lengthened, voluminous lashes. So you can keep fluttering your eyelashes whenever you want

  • Natural make-up:  Feeling positive about yourself is so important and using make-up that is kind to your skin means you can still look and feel gorgeous. And if you’re feeling really adventurous why not try experimenting and try a completely new look

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If you’re feeling anxious about your appearance

If you’re feeling anxious about your appearance

If you’ve tried the above and still feel worried about coping with the changes to your appearance then you might want to try using other ways to help you take control of your fears.

  • Mindfulness books:  These will help you manage negative thoughts by training you to think and feel more positively. Recognising and tackling your anxieties head on will help you change your mind set and achieve true self confidence

  • Aromatherapy oils:  These come in many different forms and are proven to help reduce stress and anxiety. So if you’re feeling apprehensive about your appearance or want a boost try using these oils to help soothe and calm your worries

  • Meditation:  The art of meditation has been practiced for centuries and is a proven to reduce stress and anxiety. So next time you feel self-conscious or worried about what other’s might think of your appearance try some meditation and see the effects for yourself
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