Cancer Treatments Effect on the Skin

Cancer Treatments Effect on the Skin

Everyone knows that October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. With all of the pink ribbons everywhere, people are fully aware of it, but are they aware of the effects that it has on the people who are actively fighting? What most people do know when it comes to chemotherapy and radiation is lack of appetite, nausea and hair loss. What people don’t usually know is how these treatments can affect the skin. Not everyone’s skin will react the same way, but there are some changes that many women have in common. Here are a couple skin concerns of oncology patients and ways to help manage them. All of the Eminence Organic Products mentioned are Oncology Training Institute (OTI) Approved. However, we at SUGARED are not medical professionals and advise that people should always consult their breast cancer nurse or oncologist first if they are unsure of any products. 

Surgery

Depending on the type of cancer, people may have to undergo a surgical procedure. After surgery, skin is very sore and tender. While it can be tempting to ease the discomfort, resist the urge to apply anything to the scar until it is fully sealed. There is a very high risk of infection. Once it has fully sealed, encouraging the skin to heal and prevent scarring are most people’s primary concerns.

Eminence Organic Facial Recovery Oil  contains Sage Leaf Extract and Olive Oil which are perfect ingredients to help speed up healing and reduce scarring. Use this product by massaging it directly on a closed post surgery scar, or squeeze a few drops into any moisturizer to aid healing properties, antioxidants, and enhance hydration.

Chemotherapy

One of the main side effects of chemotherapy is extreme dryness. Many women find that their skin becomes chronically dry and dehydrated, leading to flakiness, particularly on the face.

Keep a moisturizer free from ingredients you may want to avoid with you in your bag, to apply throughout the day. Try Monoi Age Corrective Night Cream for Face & Neck made with Evening Primrose, Shea Butter, Argan, Grape Seed, and Jojoba Oil, to support and moisturize the skin. Even though this product says “night” it is the perfect day moisturizer for someone who is going through and extremely dry period.

Avoid anything that foams due to detergents. Detergents in foaming products tend to make skin even drier. Cream and Oil Cleansers like Stone Crop Cleansing Oil, infused with moisturizing sunflower and jojoba oils, brightening stone crop and supercharged microgreens, might be better to cut down on detergent exposure.

Gentle exfoliation will also help. Removing dry, flaking skin cells at the surface will allow the healthy cells underneath to absorb hydrating ingredients. We recommend Eminence Organics Stone Crop Fizzofoliant made with rice that gently buffs and smoothes skin texture, and adzuki powder to exfoliate and rejuvenate brightening skin’s appearance. 

Carry Hand Cream like Shea Butter & Mint Moisture Balm and Citrus Lip Balm with you, as these delicate areas can become particularly sensitive, cracked or sore. Another side effect may be photosensitivity. Wear a natural mineral based SPF if you’re out in sunlight. Sun Defense Minerals are hypoallergenic, non pore clogging natural minerals that provide water-resistant SPF 30 sun protection to women and men alike. 

Removing dry, flaking skin cells at the surface will allow the healthy cells underneath to absorb hydrating ingredients

Radiation

Radiation treatment can have the most direct effect on the skin, causing it to become very tender. Temporary redness and hyperpigmentation can also occur in the area affected. During radiation, doctors will strongly advise patients to use certain products (aqueous cream), and for good reason – as they can’t be aware of the ingredients in any number of alternative products.

After some time has passed and the skin has begun to heal, you may want to help your skin to become stronger by adding in a serum. A concentrated serum like Marine Flower Peptide Serum packed with Smart Collagen+ Complex (Bulbine Leaf Juice, Botanical Collagen, Algae Extract): antioxidants, minerals, amino acids and botanicals boost the production of high quality collagen and inhibit the breakdown of collagen. This serum is perfect because collagen is one of the building blocks of healthy skin.

Post-Treatment

As drugs continue after treatment, so can their effects on their skin. The most common ongoing complaints are of hot flushes and redness. Temperature is key, try to avoid overheating your environment or sitting out in the sun, wear light cotton garments next to the skin and layer clothes so they can be easily removed. Look for products that contain anti-inflammatories as these will help instantly cool and calm the skin.

Try the Calm Skin Chamomile Moisturizer made to soothe irritation and hydrate sensitive skin with calming chamomile and arnica. Combine those elements with shea butter and calendula oil, and this moisturizer will help relieve the appearance of redness.

Some women, on the other hand, find their complexions are incredible after they’ve recovered, often because they’re paying better attention to their skin and diet.