Losing your hair during cancer treatment can be difficult to reconcile. For some, being bald feels like you’re exposed to the world and everyone knows you have cancer. On the other hand, many men and women feel liberated.
But if rocking the bald look isn’t for you, there are many options to conceal your new look. From hats with hair attached to headband wigs, and even full cranial prosthetic wigs! Regardless whether or not you choose to cover your head, you must take care of your skin.
Continue reading for how best to keep your nails, skin and scalp healthy while undergoing chemotherapy.
Skin Care Tips During Cancer Treatment
Depending on which treatment you undergo, hair loss will occur differently. Chemotherapy used to attack cancer cells can cause total hair loss. Conversely, radiation therapy may only cause hair loss in the area of the scalp radiation treatment.
With both chemotherapy and radiation, you’ll notice your scalp and skin feeling extra dry. It may also be sensitive to touch, dryness, and possibly itchy. Of course, always consult with your doctor if you see sores on your scalp or anywhere else. In general, they will give you ointment/medication to care for any woulds you may have.
For everyday care, we hope you find the below tips helpful.
01. Hold On To Natural Oils
A common side effect of chemotherapy is scalp and skin drying. And you really want to hold on to those natural oils!
One of the best ways to do that is avoid using products with alcohol. Instead, choose gentle shampoos and conditioners, and shampoo your scalp less often than you would your hair. Consider adding in baby oil if you still experience dryness.
Also, you can use baking soda and very gently exfoliate your scalp. Once done, pat your head dry after your shower.
02. Stay Hydrated
Another way to aid in your scalp, nails and skin care during chemotherapy is to drink lots of water. And do this throughout the day, every day to stay hydrated.
You can even spruce up your water by adding some watermelon, cucumber or any fruits like lime. This will add a little flavor as well as keep you hydrated.
Healthy skin is vital for our physical wellbeing. Not only that, but our skin is also our largest organ and protects us from harmful germs and elements.
03. Use Natural Products
Try to use natural products whenever possible. That is, products with less ingredients. Keep this in mind when looking for laundry detergent, body wash, lotion, shampoo, and conditioner. In essence, only use products that are gentle on your skin. These products are usually preservative-free as well as fragrance-free.
Also, ginger may help you manage nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy. Ginger root can be boiled and drained for use as a beverage. However, ginger is an acquired taste for many people.
04. Nail and Skin Care During Chemotherapy
Because chemotherapy drugs sometimes cause changes in nails, you should have a nail skin care routine during chemotherapy. These drugs may cause discoloration, brittleness, grooving and even lifting of the nail bed.
If you massage cuticle cream into the cuticle area it will prevent hangnails, splitting, and dryness.
Also keep your nails cut short and wear gloves while doing chores such as dishes or gardening.
05. Use Warm Water
Albeit hot showers may be your usual thing, this is asking for trouble when it comes to your sensitive skin. Not to mention, your sensitive scalp. Instead, use warm water for a more comfortable feel. In addition to drying out your skin, hot water makes it difficult for your skin to stay looking healthy.
When showering, you should also avoid scrubbing and scratching your skin. Although it may feel good at the time, doing so will cause your skin to become irritated. Also, pat dry your skin after showers and this includes your scalp.
Remember, it’s not just about scalp care. Nail and skin care are also important during cancer treatment. Your skin may also become dry and nails become brittle. For this reason, proper skin care as well as nail care, is crucial during cancer treatment.