3 Tips for Chemo Skin

3 Tips for Chemo Skin

Caring for your skin – 3 Tips for Chemo Skin

When my oncology appointment began, the nurse handed me a clipboard. It held a piece of yellow paper. On that paper was a list, front and back, of all the effects chemo could have like nausea, constipation, hot flashes, bleeding, etc. Beside each effect was a numbered scale. My task to circle a number to represent my current state of being.

“0” being no effect present.

“10” being this is totally affecting me damn it. (It didn’t exactly say that, but you get the point.)

One of the effects my care team watched was the health of my skin. Day to day I’m not conscious that the largest organ I have is my skin. It’s constantly taking in and pushing out all sorts of stuff. Its condition a barometer of the breast cancer treatment effects.

3 Tips for Chemo Skin

Here I share the 3 tips for chemo skin that helped me.

Tip #1 – Organic Coconut Oil

While writing this, I tried to remember how I got turned on to organic coconut oil as a pure moisturizer for my skin. I can’t remember where I read it, or saw is, but I remember the story…

Carrie Underwood said on tour she heads right to the nearest grocery store for her face moisturizer, coconut oil. Do you know who she is? Back when I watched American Idol, she became the singing contest’s winner. Season Four. 2005. I remember thinking, if little ‘ol Carrie Underwood does that, I can too.

At Whole Foods, I reached for a glass jar of organic coconut oil. It’s a Crisco-like consistency out of the jar. But once I warmed it in my hands, it melted to a spreading consistency. Easily absorbed by my skin.

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You may be questioning, why organic? The reason I choose organic is due to a chemical called glyphosate. It’s better known by the brand name “Roundup.”

Created by an ag chemical company named Monsanto who’s responsible for manufacturing DDT and Agent Orange. Not familiar with those chemical agents? Good, then it means their ban is working. However, both still cause environmental havoc. Just this week, a friend told me her father flew planes that carried Agent Orange in Vietnam. He’s developed cancer the VA links back to the Vietnam herbicide meant to kill off dense vegetation.

Today, Roundup is found in our food, on our lawns, in our water supply and even in mother’s milk. Research ties Roundup to cancer. Big time. In my opinion, it ought to be banned like DDT and Agent Orange. It’s impossible to keep out of my body, but I try to make conscious choices with the power of my wallet. Sharing a book I’m reading below.

Think about this, look at the ingredients in your body lotion. Does it include a plant or an herb? If that plant or herb is not organic, it may have been grown with Roundup. That means it goes directly on the skin and into the body.

Flash forward to breast cancer treatment. When I thought about keeping my chemical load low and toxins to a minimum, I turned to pure organic coconut oil to keep my skin hydrated.

Chemo dehydrated me. My liquid intake per day was high. The organic coconut oil satiate my overburdened skin.

(This is the brand I’m using now.)

When it was time for radiation, I kept up the practice of using it. Not right before treatment. The oncology radiologists and their tech team said no oil or lotion on skin before treatment. But right afterwards in the hospital changing room, I rubbed it on. I think organic coconut oil plus organic green juice kept radiation burn to a minimum.

Tip #2 – Organic Face Oil

I mentioned my skin was thirsty during chemo. That meant my bald scalp was too. Since I’d never been a skin head, this was new to me. I needed to take care of my scalp.

A dear friend sent homemade face oil laced with essential frankincense. I slathered on my face as well as my bald head. Doing this everyday created a self-care practice. It helped me feel better.

Sometimes I switched out her oil for EO’s Organic Face Serum or their lavender body oil. I really enjoyed the soothing scent of lavender during treatment. See my eye pillow post here .

dried lavender eye pillow

 Tip #3 – Recipe for Chemo Nail Care

No one wants to talk about this. But when I found the chemo nail care recipe, I knew I needed to share.

One of the things I learned during chemo is the effects it could have on my hands. From nerve damage in fingertips, to nail loss. Yuck on all fronts.

Luckily for me, the nerve damage or neuropathy never showed up. Did walking help? Who knows. Doctors say they can’t predict who this will affect.

What I did experience was chemo-induced nail changes. Some of my nails, detached from the nail bed. It was like their foundation was rocked by the chemo. The nails could not hold on.

This didn’t hurt, surprisingly. For me, it was more of a nuisance keeping the finger tips dry and clean. My PA passed on this recipe for soaking my fingers that I give to you. Never thought I would be sharing this kind of recipe, but if it helps you or someone you love, awesome.

Recipe for Chemo Nail Care

½ cup vinegar. White

½ cup water

(trying to dilute vinegar by 50%)

Soak fingernails once to twice a day. About 5-10 minutes.

Use antibiotic ointment with drainage.

If unstoppable, put medical tape (I used band-aids ensuring the sticky part was NOT on a nail.)

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I’m not a doctor. With everything I recommend on this blog, I’m sharing what worked for me. For you,  I suggest consulting with your care team and your intuition before making medical decisions.

3 Tips for Chemo Skin

  1. Organic Coconut Oil
  2. Organic Face Oil
  3. Recipe for Chemo Nail Care

Literally, these 3 tips for chemo skin care helped during breast cancer treatment. Figuratively, the practice of caring for my body and being conscious of what I put on it, felt good. Anything that made me feel better helped me get to where I stand now, a survivor.

Hope this helps you or someone you love.

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[Images sourced at Pixabay if not my own.]

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