The amazing Ruth Romano shares her experiences on how her treatment for cancer affected her skin and her tips to help others in the same situation.
“October saw the start of Breast Cancer Awareness Month which is an annual global campaign to raise awareness of the most common form of cancer in women (ref: World Health Organisation) and as a breast cancer survivor this is a campaign very close to my heart.
The side effects of cancer treatment are fairly well known but the skincare effects of treatment are less well documented.
There was no information readily available when I was having my treatment and equally there was no advice offered by the hospital other than a passing remark by one of the nurses that my skin ‘might be more sensitive.’
That said, the doctors and nurses are focused on your treatment strategy and do an absolutely amazing job. Understandably they don’t have the time to review every possible side effect of your treatment.
With this in mind, I began researching the multitude of ingredients in skincare products favouring a natural and simple approach to taking care of my skin.
If you or a loved one is going through cancer treatment and understand why and how your skin might be affected, my tips below can help you be better prepared to counteract the effects.
There are a range of cancer treatments that can affect your skin and if you are having a combination of treatments this can have a bigger impact. Chemotherapy targets all your cells including your skin cells which can lead to dry skin. Radiotherapy can affect the area being treated increasing skin sensitivity. Various medications can also adversely affect your skin.
Your skin can become more sensitive than usual and the products you have been using may no longer be suitable.
I found that the key is to use products with as few ingredients as possible because this will greatly reduce the chance of irritation.
Here are my 5 tips for looking after your skin during treatment.
Use Oils for Dry Skin
Dry skin is one of the most common effects of cancer treatment and this is where oils can be your skin’s best friend. Oils can be used everywhere too not just on your face. Find an oil that works for you and pamper your skin with nature’s most effective skin nourishment. My favourite oils are argan and prickly pear.
Take Care in the Sun
Take extra care in the sun during and after your treatment and avoid direct sunlight during treatment. Opt for a sunscreen with non nano zinc oxide as it offers safe protection.
Prevent Dry Lips
Your lips have the thinnest skin than anywhere else on your body and are more prone to the drying effects of treatment. If they become too dry they can become sore and crack so to prevent this apply a natural balm on a regular basis for the ultimate in lip nourishment.
Look After Your Nails
Your nails can break more easily and are more prone to peeling. Your only option is to keep them short and apply a nourishing oil especially to condition nails.
Opt for Natural Deodorant
If you have had surgery to remove lymph nodes then you won’t be able to use a deodorant until you have healed. When you can wear deodorant again it goes without saying that you should opt for a natural deodorant such as those that contain mineral salts to prevent body odour.
Listen to your body, find a range of products that work for you and be gentle with yourself”.
Ruth Romano x