While Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a great time to raise funds for various charities – advice and practical information are most helpful to many women undergoing treatment.
In today's post, I would like to talk about how different cancer treatments affect the skin and how best to handle them.
Your skin changes and reacts with every stage of treatment. Not everyone will do this the same way, but there are some changes that many women have in common – and I'm going to focus on these.
Just to repeat, I'm not a doctor, and you should always consult your breast cancer nurse or oncologist first if you ever have any doubts.
Depending on your cancer, you may need to undergo surgery at some point during your treatment – be it a lumpectomy or a mastectomy.
After the operation, the skin is obviously very sore and tender. While relieving the discomfort can be tempting, resist the urge to put anything on your scar at all until it's completely sealed.
Once this is the case, most women are primarily concerned with encouraging the skin to heal and improving the appearance of scars.
When it comes to scars, the combination of skin moisture with skin regeneration is the key – this is how it works:
- Hydrate inside and out by regularly moistening with a cream with a high water content, drink plenty of water and take a good omega supplement.
- Mix your cream with a few drops of a regenerative oil to speed up skin healing. Rose hip organic regeneration oil is ideal for scars and is 100% natural.
One of the main side effects of chemotherapy is extreme dryness.
Many women find that their skin becomes chronically dry and dehydrated – and can be very scaly, especially on the face.
- Drink more water! The dehydration can be constant and show up immediately on your skin. Do not underestimate the power of water and hydration from the inside out .
- Keep a moisturizer free of ingredients you want to avoid in your pocket to apply all day. Choose one with a high water content (with "Aqua" first on the ingredient list) or wear a moisturizing facial mist to splash over or under the makeup.
- Avoid anything that foams. Detergents in foaming products tend to make the skin even drier. Cream cleaners may be better, choosing a bath oil instead of a bubble bath to reduce exposure to detergents.
- A gentle peeling helps. By removing skin cells from the surface, the healthy cells underneath can absorb products where they are most needed. Use a very gentle peel or a muslin cloth.
- Carry hand cream and lip balm with you, as these sensitive areas can become particularly sensitive, cracked or sore.
Although less common, another side effect may be photosensitivity .
- Wear a natural sun protection factor if you are exposed to strong sunlight (sunscreen instead of sunscreen).
- Mineral make-up contains a natural sun protection factor and is therefore a good alternative for daily protection.
Radiation treatment can affect the skin most directly and make it very tender. Temporary redness and hyperpigmentation can also occur in the affected area.
During radiation, your doctor will strongly recommend that you use certain products (water-based cream), and for good reason, as they do not know the ingredients of a number of alternative products that you may be tempted to use.
After some time has passed and the skin started to heal, you may want to take the following on board.
- Skin regeneration is key. A concentrated oil like rosehip is perfect for this because it contains omegas 3, 6, 7 and 9 – the building blocks of healthy skin.
- Treat this thinner, desperate skin like a mixed scar oil with a moisturizer for maximum nutrition.
If medications are continued after treatment, they can also affect their skin.
The most common persistent symptoms are hot flashes and redness, which are often compared to menopausal symptoms.
- Temperature is the key. So try to overheat the house or sit in the sun, although it sounds obvious.
- Wear light cotton clothing next to the skin and layer clothing so that it can be easily removed.
- Look for products that contain anti-inflammatory agents, as they immediately cool and soothe the skin. Chamomile and aloe creams work particularly well, or you'd like to use a facial spray instead.
- Over time, the use of regenerative products like rose hips will help strengthen the skin and make flushes less likely.
Some women, on the other hand, find their skin color incredible after their recovery, often because they pay more attention to their skin and diet.