Chemotherapy. It is a word that strikes fear in our hearts, conjuring up visions of sickness and hair loss. No, I don’t want to go through this. But, at the same time, it strikes a chord of hope, daring to say, “I have a chance. I can kick this!” Chemotherapy. It is truly a bittersweet pill to swallow.
Once you are set on the path of chemo treatments, there are many things to consider. Often, they are things you didn’t even think about before. Now you need to know how to and not to bathe, or what types of moisturizers, cleansers, and detergents to use. Do I need to change other things about my hygiene? What clothing and fabrics are suitable? Am I allowed out in the sun, and if so what precautions do I take?
Long, hot showers and baths are out. You now need to take shorter ones using only lukewarm water. This will inflame your skin a lot less and help you not to dry out as much. When you dry off, you need to pat yourself gently and slowly, no vigorous rubbing. You should apply creams or lotions within fifteen minutes of bathing to help lock in moisture.
Creams and Lotions
Creams, lotions, balms, and serums become very important. You want to find good ones, preferably made by a company that focuses on cancer patients and their particular problems. Their products will be gentle on your sensitive skin and provide vitamins and antioxidants.
You may have to change the types of laundry detergent, dish and hand soap, and cleansers that you use. Mild ones with no fragrances or dyes are best. And when you do any household chores, gloves are needed. You can’t afford letting your hands and skin come in contact with and chemicals or hot water.
No tight fitting clothes. They will only lead to skin irritations and most likely, chemo rashes. Rough fabrics such as wool and corduroy are out, too. You only want soft things next to your skin, and cotton is best.
Yes, you can go out in the sun. You just need to do it wisely, and for short amounts of time. Sunblock SPF30 or higher is a must. The chemotherapy drugs makes your skin super sensitive and you will burn easily and quickly. Protective clothing, sunglasses, and wide brim hats go hand in hand with your sunscreen. It is also important to remember that if you’ve had radiation before or are currently having it, the sun and or the chemo drugs, can recall burns on your treatment areas. You will always need to take these precautions for fun in the sun.
Hopefully this has given you some tips on what to do and not to do while going through chemotherapy. Maintain good chemo skin care isn’t hard, it just requires some changes.
This is a guest post by Stacey Hess, who is an avid writer and enjoys blogging. This article was written about chemo skin care to educate and inform others.