Seven aspects of the skin that you need to take care of if you have cancer
When a person has cancer , this disease covers all the efforts of the patient, who in many cases, abandons the care of other parts of the body, such as the skin.
Although currently treatments for this pathology have been modified and there are various therapeutic alternatives that go beyond classical chemotherapy , such as specific therapies aimed at specific targets, side effects continue to exist and the skin is one of the most affected.
Experts say that after the treatments it is common to see lesions, such as infections around the nails and acneiform eruptions. “The skin becomes sensitive and dry. It needs special care and requires changing habits . In hygiene, for example, you have to use simple substances, without detergents, (they can be in pill, gel, cream or milk), but, always soft to avoid the aggression of the skin, “explains Aurora Guerra, head of the Health Service. Dermatology of the University Hospital October 12, Madrid.
The expert recommends paying special attention to the following aspects:
The first point is to use simple moisturizers and designed for sensitive skin .
“You have to moisturize because sometimes the skin is dry. In these cases it is advisable that the composition of the creams be simple because, the more multiplicity there is more risk of allergies and intolerances, “he says.
In addition, this hydration should be greater in radiated skin, as it has the peculiarity that it is more fragile, so we must take special care and, above all, prevent, before radiotherapy with a hydration and hygiene adequate.
After the treatments, the skin is more sensitive to sun rays, so we must also take into account the photoprotection. Guerra recommends using physical photoprotectors, which are less allergenic .
The nails are also going to be damaged because the cuticle of the nail is constantly reproducing and also sensitive to these chemotherapeutic agents.
You have to have your nails taken care of, do not cut them too much. In the case of women, it is important not to touch the cuticles when the manicure is done. But, what if they are painted? War clarifies that it is not contraindicated, sometimes it even protects them, what we can not have are false nails, acrylics, gel or porcelain because they can damage the nails or file them.
“We always recommend keeping square corners and hydrating them with special creams for nails. People who bite them should try not to traumatize them or bite the edge or remove the cuticle. There you have to be much more careful and even, if you need to sleep with gloves, do so, “he adds.
There are treatments that do not fall and others that do . Most of the time the Hair will recover, but not all.
In this aspect the specialist indicates that the decisions are very personal: there are those who cut their hair a lot or shave their heads to avoid seeing the fall every day; others use wigs.
The important thing when using handkerchiefs, turbans or wigs is that they are adapted and do not have adhesives that can irritate the skin, because the scalp is also sensitive. In addition, you should have at least six hours a day the scalp discovered. “If they do not put anything on and they leave at some point in the sun they will also have to put protection on their naked scalps,” he warns.
On the other hand, Guerra indicates that some therapies do not cause hair loss but they do modify their appearance. Thus, a person with straight hair may have it curly or even change color. In these situations there is no problem in using masks or softeners, but dyes and keratin baths are not recommended because they are much more aggressive.
Eyebrows, eyelids and eyelashes
Eyebrows and eyelashes also fall off . If it is transient, as it happens in most cases, it will be enough to make them up. If after finishing the treatment, we see that they do not recover we can make a micropigmentation or a tattoo, but always thinking that it is irreversible: it may happen that the patient decides to perform a micropigmentation and then the hair comes out and then does not match.
Special care must be taken on the eyelids because there is often dry eyes. Using soft eye contours and moisturizers can help.
” With lashes it is better to do nothing and wait. They can be painted with a pencil but we do not recommend false eyelashes because they irritate the area. ”
Regarding the surgery treatments, the specialist indicates that after the intervention a hypertrophic scar may remain . These must be treated, hydrated and put patches of silicone to try to revert and the skin is back to its being.
With many chemotherapies there are spots on the skin, especially in the folds: armpits, groins, and also on the face, on the lateral areas of the neck. In addition, flagellated pigmentations appear with some medications.
This pigmentation, in general, will be recovering. Meanwhile, Guerra indicates that you have to use sunscreen so that it does not increase, have patience and do not use conventional depigmenting agents, as they are used in other situations, because they are irritating.
“We recommend photoprotection, make-up and when time passes, put yourself in the hands of a dermatologist to help you,” he adds. “It is important to consider cosmetic care because it improves the quality of life, the perception of the disease and that helps in recovery .”
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