If you’ve discovered you have cancer, we know that now is the time you’ll want to be doing everything you can for your health, without interfering with any treatment. We have carefully reviewed advice given to cancer patients by advisory bodies and doctors to provide 8 good skincare practices for those dealing with the disease:
Use natural products – Be kind to your skin during aggressive cancer treatments, use only natural products which have been specially formulated for use by cancer patients. By choosing products that have been designed for this traumatic time, you will be ensuring that you are not placing any unnecessary irritants on your skin whilst helping to provide nutrients and moisture that your body needs.
Be gentle – When washing or following your daily skincare routine take extra care to be gentle. Try to avoid scratching or scrubbing your skin and gently pat down following a shower. Wear non-irritating, soft fabrics where possible too. Soft towels made from natural fibres are welcome gifts for cancer patients.
Use less soap – Everyday soaps can take moisture out of your skin so avoid using soap as often.
Moisturise regularly – Another way to reduce dry skin during cancer treatment is to shower in lukewarm water instead of hot water and to regularly use moisturising oils. Apply at least twice daily. During radiotherapy, don’t use oils on your skin before a treatment, only afterwards and between treatments. It is a good idea to use oil on your skin before a bath or shower and then allow the shower to wash away excess oils.
Use lip balm daily – Stop your lips from drying out by using a moisturising lip balm with added sun protection factor. Try to start a routine where you use your lip balm routinely and nip dryness in the bud.
Protect your skin from the sun – Some cancer drugs will make your skin more sensitive to the sun. Consult with your doctor whether you should be wearing sunscreen every day, no matter the weather. Otherwise be very careful when going outside, protect yourself from the sun with sunblock, sun hat, long-sleeve clothing and long trousers.
Look after your hands and feet – Your hands and feet may become tired and dry during cancer treatment. Moisturise hands/feet regularly during the day and try covering with a soothing balm or oil made from natural ingredients. Use the balm or oil before bed and wear cotton gloves and socks when you are sleeping.
Look after your nails – Unfortunately problems with your finger and toe nails can be common in the weeks and months into your treatment and can continue after too. Your nails may become dry and brittle. Try to avoid biting your nails and don’t use fake nails, extensions or wraps and wear gloves whilst doing chores. Regular use of nail oil has been shown to improve nail condition during treatment.