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Chemotherapy Patients Benefit from Skin Care

Our skin plays a vital role in our overall health. Physically, it shields and protects us. And, because it is the most visible part of us, our skin has a powerful psychological effect on us and our neighbors. Scientific studies are proving that when people feel better about the way they look, it boosts their immune system for up to three hours. People around us react more positively, as well.

All of us at Eastbay Acne & Skin Care Clinic are committed to our clients overall well being and recovery process. Our cleansing, hydrating and oxygen treatments are designed to soothe the skin and the soul.

Hydrophilic moisturizers will help combat skin dehydration and will make the skin's surface softer, more pliable and less itchy. It's also best to avoid long, hot showers, perfumes and cologne. Cosmedix' Mystic is an excellent hydrophilic moisturizer with the advantage of antiviral and antifungal properties. We highly recommend it.

Sun protection is especially important for cancer patients. Chemotherapy can photosensitize the skin, so it's best to stay out of the sun altogether, if possible. Otherwise, we recommend products with zinc oxide which provide a physical block to the sun's rays.

"The immune system is compromised by chemotherapy,
which in turn, impairs the skin's function."

Cancer patients get a double-negative effect from their illness and its accompanying treatment. The immune system is compromised by chemotherapy, which in turn, impairs the skin's function. One common side effect is hair loss. Although temporary, hair loss is usually cited as the most devastating side effect. It's the first sign to outsiders that something is wrong, and to the patient it's a constant reminder of the disease. We recommend to our clients who are about to undergo chemotherapy to start looking for a wig before the treatments begin. They will have more energy for the search and will have their wig before they begin to loose their hair. A stylish hat or a beautiful head scarf is another accessory that they can add to their wardrobe. Incidentally, not everyone loses hair during chemotherapy.

Mineral powders, such as Jane Iredale's, really answer that problem. They not only provide physical sun protection but the titanium dioxide and zinc oxide may also help with skin irritation and itching, Look for products such as Jane Iredale's that don't contain sensitizing ingredients that will worsen already sensitive skin.

Makeup really boosts self-esteem, and can help our cancer patients feel "normal" again. This feeling of "being normal" is very important during the recovery period. The gray pallor to the skin often associated with chemotherapy can be erased with the use of high quality mineral powders and blushers, such as Jane Iredale. These will give a healthy, natural glow to the skin.

"The overall objective is to replace the skin's natural oils..."
In addition to possible hair loss, chemotherapy may make the skin drier because the drugs interfere with the normal function of the oil and sweat glands. Possible side effects include redness, itching, peeling and dryness. Cracking and chapping can lead to infection in the cancer patient whose immune system is suppressed - a potentially dangerous combination. Skin should be kept as moist as possible during treatment. Cancer patients are advised not to share their skin and body care products with anyone because of the danger of infection. All skin treatments should be soothing and hydrating, with absolutely no extraction's, abrasives, or peeling agents. In an immuno-suppressed client, an extraction could turn into an infection.

We advise our clients to moisturize day and night to slow down the skin's trans-epidermal water loss. 

Also, remember that the skin absorbs about 60% of what's put on it. Typically, toxins are stored in our fatty tissues and tend to remain there. It's always wise to read ingredient labels; this is especially important when healing. Chemotherapy is a poison to the system, so we recommend products that are Chirally corrected or with simple ingredients that you can trust, and that do not add to the body's workload.

The overall objective is to replace the skin's natural oils which are in short supply in chemotherapy patients. This will help heal the "micro-cracks" in dry, irritated skin. When the skin is moist, supple and healthy, it can perform its primary protective function much better, and keep infection out of the body. Also, when you look better, you'll feel better, and that's a key component to a healthy immune system and a full recovery.


Skin Care Tips for Chemotherapy Patients

The key is to be gentle with the skin. Keep your skin as moist as possible during your chemotherapy treatment, and avoid raw and broken skin. Obviously, if you find a particular product or ingredient to be irritating to your skin, discontinue its use.

When you look good, you'll feel better!

Use:
  • gentle facial or sensitive-skin cleansers
  • sun block, if you're going out in the sun
  • Mineral makeups to block UV rays and improve your appearance
  • Chirally correct products to minimize skin irritation
Avoid:
  • acidic or alkaline cleansing products
  • abrasive cleansers, fabrics, loofa sponges, etc.
  • alcohols
  • perfumes and colognes
  • alpha hydroxy acids
  • glycolic acid products
  • fabric softeners
  • products containing sodium lauryl sulfate
  • Retin-A and Retinol-based products
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ASCP Member

Eastbay Acne & Skin Care Clinic

 

Intelligent Skin Care for Women, Men and Teens Since 1989

BBB Member since 1991
Member Since 1991

 

 

 2917 Salvio Street, Suite D
Concord, CA 94519

Telephone:

(925) 798.SKIN (7546)
1.888.798.SKIN

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(925) 798.0856  

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Last modified:
19 October 2014

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