What might you experience ?
Whether you’re having radiotherapy, chemotherapy or surgery, all of these can affect your skin. This guide will help you find ways to look after your skin, the largest organ in your body.
This guide will cover:
- Dry Skin
- Itchy Skin
- Sensitive Scalp
- Weak Brittle Nails
- Sun Protection
Why does this happen?
- Itchy Skin - This can be caused because of chemicals released by your cancer, its treatments or problems with your liver and kidneys. For some people, it can be very irritating and can even keep them up at night. There may be medical treatments that can help treat the cause of your itching, so it’s important to tell your doctor about it. There’s also some non-medical ways of helping soothe the itching and help you cope with this troublesome side effect.
- Dry Skin - You may notice your skin feels drier during treatment for cancer. This may be due to chemotherapy or radiotherapy, hormonal changes caused by an early menopause or from hormonal therapies. You may also find that your skin is drier during winter because of the cold windy weather and use of central heating. There are lots of creams, lotions and emollients that can help keep your skin moisturised.
- Sensitive Scalp - If you’re having radiotherapy to your head or are having chemotherapy you may notice your scalp becomes more sensitive and can feel dry, itchy, or sore. So you might want to give it some extra care and attention to help soothe your scalp and stay comfortable.
- Weak Brittle Nails - During treatment for cancer, you may notice changes to your nails. This affects people differently and can range from discolouration of nails, dry flaking nails, or even loss of nails. Don’t worry, though, your nails should grow back to normal after your chemo stops. In the meantime, there are a few things you can try to help improve the condition of your nails.
- Sun protection - Everyone should be careful in the sun but when you have cancer you might want to be extra careful as some cancer treatments can leave your skin more sensitive to the sun. So make sure you cover up and use sunscreen when you’re soaking up the sun and if you’ve lost your hair, don’t forget about your scalp.