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What Are The Side-Effects Of Chemotherapy On Skin?

Side effects of chemo on skin

Most cancer treatments affect the skin in one way or another; symptoms range from fairly mild to very distressing and uncomfortable, but there are things you can do to make yourself more comfortable.

The main side-effects of chemo or radiotherapy 
Dry skin: scaliness, flakiness, roughness, tightness, itching
Flushing: redness like blushing spreading over skin
Hyperpigmentation: changes in colouration, particularly darkening patches
Nail changes: ridging, weakness, brittleness, changes in colour, 
Photosensitivity: symptoms like bad sunburn (redness, swelling, blistering, weeping and peeling
Radiation recall: ‘burns’ at the site of previous radiation therapy after chemo has been given
Rashes: bright red, hot, itchy, raised, blistery, inflamed areas
Worsening or new onset psoriasis: silvery, flaky, itchy areas of skin
Worsening or new onset acne: raised pimples or pustules
Hand and foot (palmar-plantar) syndrome: peeling or flaking on palms and soles of feet

Always talk to your medical caregivers about your symptoms, in case any of them need specialist treatment. And carry a pot of Skin Salvation with you at all times!

See our guide How To Look After Your Skin Before, During And After Chemotherapy for more information and advice.

Posted on: Oct 14, 2019

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