Receiving a skin cancer diagnosis is a frightening thing. You'll have so many different thoughts going through your mind as you prepare for treatment. Not only will you need to prepare for the treatment itself, but you'll also need to prepare for the physical changes you'll experience during treatment. Some of the changes you'll experience will involve your skin, especially if your treatment involves chemotherapy or radiation. Here are three suggestions that will help you care for your skin during treatment.
Chemotherapy can dehydrate you. Unfortunately, dehydration can affect all aspects of your body, including your skin. While you're going through cancer treatment, be sure to keep your skin hydrated.
Drink plenty of water. The additional fluids will help keep your skin supple, which will prevent irritation and skin damage. During treatment, keep a bottle of water with you at all times. If nausea prevents you from drinking water, keep ice chips on hand. Chewing on the ice chips will help keep you hydrated.
Lower Your Shower Temperature
A nice, hot shower may sound relaxing, but it will dry out your skin. To protect your skin during cancer treatment, shower in cool water instead. If you do choose a warmer shower temperature, turn it down to cool towards the end of your shower. This will help lock in your skin's natural moisture.
You want to keep your skin as soft and supple as possible during cancer treatment. To do that, you should apply a gentle moisturizer to your skin after each shower. Pat dry with a soft towel and then apply moisturizer before leaving the bathroom.
Protect Your Skin from the Sun
While you're going through cancer treatment, you'll need to take extra precautions to avoid the sun. Those precautions will help prevent the cancer from returning and protect your skin from sun damage. During treatment, always wear a hat when you go outdoors, and apply a generous amount of sunscreen to your skin. It's also important that you limit the amount of time that you spend in the sun each day.
Go Slow with New Cosmetics
Chemotherapy can increase your chances of developing new allergies. During treatment, limit the number of cosmetics you wear. Apply one cosmetic at a time to make sure you haven't developed an allergy. As you clear each cosmetic, you can try a new one until you're sure you're not going to experience an allergic reaction. If you develop signs of an allergic reaction—itching, redness, or a rash—discontinue use of that cosmetic and talk to your doctor.
If you're about to begin treatment for skin cancer, be sure to follow your doctor's orders. In addition to the instructions you'll receive from your doctor, the tips provided here will help protect your skin during treatment. To learn more about skin cancer treatments, contact a medical center like Gateway Dermatology PC.