Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Skin Care during Chemotherapy and Radiation Oncology Treatments

Chemotherapy medications can affect a patient’s skin, hair, and nails. The side effects vary by patient and more broadly by the type of chemotherapy that is being administered.

Before starting treatment, it is suggested that the patient ask their oncologist or oncology nurse what specific skin/hair/nail reactions might be caused by the regimen prescribed. That way, they can better prepare by exploring products that will be helpful.

Some common side effects are dry, flaky or itchy skin. If a patient is receiving radiation, the skin can become burned, or an itchy bumpy rash can develop.

Tarceva can cause a rash and other skin changes. Soon after you start taking Tarceva, a rash may appear—most often on your face, upper chest and back. However, a rash may appear anywhere on your body with symptoms such as itching, tenderness, burning, dryness, or cracked skin on your fingers and hands. It may look like acne or dry skin. Rash is a common side effect of Tarceva. If you get a rash while on Tarceva, call your doctor about what to do, as some rashes have been serious. (Source: http://www.tarceva.com/patient/taking/effects.jsp)

Erbitux can also cause a very bad rash, sometimes called an acne-form rash. It can be mild, but sometimes it is severe. You can read more about this rash on the Chemocare website by clicking here.

Another side effect that can occur is hand-foot syndrome (sometimes referred to as Palmar-Plantar erythrodysesthesia). This is an irritation, cracking and peeling of the skin on the hands, and feet. Some medications that can cause hand-foot syndrome in patients are Capecitabine (Xeloda®), 5-Flurouracil (5FU), continuous-infusion doxorubicin, doxorubicin liposomal (Doxil®), and high-dose Interleukin-2.

A study that was published in the Journal of Supportive Oncology (March/April 2009) reviewed some of the skin, hair and nail effects from the toxicities of targeted biologic agents. This article is called Dermatotoxicity Linked to Targeted Biologic Agents.

A further description about the side effects that can be caused by EGFR Inhibitors including Erbitux, Tarceva and Vectibix can be found on the Mayo Clinic website.

We have products on our website that can help with many skin related side effects.

We sell many products to help radiation burns. They can be found by clicking here

The Lindiskin product line can help with many skin issues. These products can be viewed by clicking here.

Soothing balm can help hand-foot syndrome and you can read about it by clicking here.

Face serum, which comes in either a lavender scent or a citrus scent, can be viewed here. Face serum is an excellent product for individuals who are taking EGFR inhibitors and who might be experiencing the acneform rash as a side effect.

This information is published for informational and helpful purposes and is accumulated from sources that are believed to be reliable. It is not meant as a substitute for individual medical advice. It is suggested that you contact your healthcare provider with any questions you have that are specific to your disease and treatment protocol.