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Skin Care

When a cancer diagnosis is handed down, there are so many things to think about—and skin care can seem like one of the least important to consider. However, it’s likely that your doctors will ask that you completely change up your usual routine. The same drugs that kill off the cancer cells also affect the growth of your skin cells.

While everyone's body will react differently, and you should always follow your doctor's instructions first and foremost... here are some general skincare guidelines for people undergoing cancer treatment.  

  • Use only lukewarm water and mild soap when you wash.
  • Avoid extremes of heat or cold, including hot baths or showers.
  • Avoid hygiene products with alcohol.
  • Do not rub your skin, be gentle & pat it dry after a shower.
  • Do not wear tight clothing near the treatment area.
  • Avoid using perfumes.
  • Speak with your doctor to be sure that the ingredients in your current skincare will not cause further irritation.
  • Ask your spouse or caregiver to apply lotions on hard-to-reach areas.
  • Drink plenty of fluids—at least 2 to 3 quarts of liquid a day. Be sure to consult your doctor first about how much to drink.
  • Apply water-based creams after your shower while your skin is still damp.
  • If your nails become brittle, wear gloves when you wash dishes or do daily chores.