Chemotherapy Skin Care
Dermatologist-Recommended Skin Care Products for Sensitive Skin Undergoing Chemotherapy Treatments
In 2013, at the age of 55, I was diagnosed with hereditary breast cancer. After undergoing a strong series of chemotherapy treatments with multiple chemotherapy drugs, I personally and professionally understand the challenges chemotherapy patients face.
As a dermatologist and cancer patient, I used my experience as a "living laboratory". The results are the products and recommendations you see below. They are practical, highly effective, and custom-designed for chemotherapy patients -- so that you have one less burden during this trying time.
What are the effects of chemotherapy on your skin?
Cancer treatment with chemotherapy is a stress to your entire body, including your skin. Your skin is your body's biggest organ and it is constantly exposed to potentially harmful elements in your outside world.
You need to keep your skin healthy during your chemotherapy treatments because your skin needs to protect you from outside stressors such as germs, chemicals, and harsh weather. Remember, during chemotherapy your immune system is weakened and this is not the time for problems with your skin. My skin care kit and products are designed to support your skin, giving it the best chance to stay healthy and protect you while you undergo your chemo treatments.
On chemotherapy, your skin may become drier and more fragile than ever before. Your nails and cuticles may become brittle. Your skin and nails may become discolored from the medicines you are receiving, and you may even become more sun sensitive.
If you take good care of your skin while you are on chemotherapy, it is possible to keep it soft, healthy, comfortable, and attractive throughout your treatment process. Even more important, healthy skin is essential to your physical well-being during chemo. Dry, sensitive skin is prone to eczema, itching, and sores that can become infected.
Remember, your skin is a huge organ. Its exposure to the germs, chemicals, and the air of the outside world make you vulnerable when it is damaged. During chemotherapy, your immune system is suppressed and you are more vulnerable than ever before − which means you need healthy skin to protect you and keep you well.
How do you keep your skin healthy when undergoing chemo treatments?
The most effective way to keep your skin healthy during chemotherapy is to use a gentle, hydrating skin care routine every day. Follow these 4 key skin care steps daily during your chemotherapy:
- Use only gentle cleansers.
- Use only hypoallergenic products (those that don’t have fragrances, or complex or irritating ingredients).
- Use warm − not steaming hot − water on your skin when it is suffering from dryness.
- Apply an intensive hydrating moisturizer right after toweling dry.
If your chemo medicines make you more sun sensitive, then you will also need to apply a proven broad spectrum sunscreen every day. Remember, even sun exposure through a window can cause a drug-induced sun sensitivity which can lead to a rash. Your sunscreen needs to be broad spectrum blocking UVA and UVB. I have included products that are gentle on your skin, yet strong against the sun's UV rays, in the list below.
I created my Chemotherapy Skin Care Kit to take care of my own skin when I was on chemo. It worked perfectly! I offer it on my web site and all the proceeds after expenses are donated to FORCE, the advocacy organization for the Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Community.
I recommend all chemo patients use one of my Sheer Strength SPF 50+Sunscreens. They are all non-irritating and hypoallergenic for sensitive skin undergoing chemotherapy treatments. Choose my Spray Sunscreen, Matte Tinted Facial Sunscreen or Invisible Facial Sunscreen.