WELLBEING EXPERTS  /  SKINCARE / Top lifestyle tips to support your skin

Top lifestyle tips to support your skin

Our skin is impacted by everything that we do, so it’s not just the products we use on our bodies that can provide relief, but how we adapt our environment as well.

  • Avoid fabric softeners and harsh perfumed detergents when washing your clothes and bedding as they may contain chemicals that irritate the skin.
  • Wear natural cottons and loose-fitting clothing instead of wool or synthetic fabrics, as they are less likely to rub against your skin and cause irritation. 100% cotton bed sheets are also recommended.
  • Keep rooms cooler – at temperatures between 64 to 68°F (17.8 to 20 °C).
  • Cool mist humidifiers can help prevent the drying of skin by increasing ambient air humidity.
  • Talk to your radiologist about exercises such as swimming. Chlorine can aggravate treated areas, so it may be an idea to avoid certain swimming activities until the skin recovers.
  • Drink lots of water every day. A slice of lemon in your water will help pH neutrality which is always good.
  • Be mindful of things that can make skin reactions worse, such as drinking alcohol and smoking.
  • Reduce sun exposure to the treatment area and when outside, use a sunscreen, hats and loose-fitting clothing to stay covered as much as possible as skin is more predisposed to burning during some cancer treatments.
  • Use gloves when gardening or doing household chores.
  • If skin feels hot and itchy, try using a cool pack or keeping a cooling spritz handy.

 

Top tip: If you’re suffering from itching, wear cotton gloves at night to avoid scratching in your sleep. Even better, apply a hand cream or balm before putting on the gloves to condition and nourish your skin and nails.

BY MARIAN HOOK

References

Cancer Research UK
https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/coping/physically/skin-problems/dealing-with-itching/tips

Cancer Care
https://www.cancercare.org/publications/76-caring_for_your_skin_during_cancer_treatment

Duffy R, Jennings T, Sahu J. Gentle skin care guidelines for patients with mycosis fungoides. Chin Clin Oncol 2019,8 (1): 14.doi:10.21037/cco.2018.10.04
https://cco.amegroups.org/article/view/22064/html

Sheffield Hallam University 2020
https://shura.shu.ac.uk/26246/1/2020_version_4_final_practice_guideline_radiotherapy_skin_care_llv1.pdf

Application of red light phototherapy in the treatment of radioactive dermatitis in patients with head and neck cancer
https://wjso.biomedcentral.com/counter/pdf/10.1186/s12957-018-1522-3.pdf

Light therapy fast-tracks healing of skin damage from cancer radiation therapy
https://www.buffalo.edu/news/releases/2022/01/029.html

Additional Information

https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/

https://www.breastcanceruk.org.uk/reduce-your-risk/chemicals-and-environment/

https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/general-info/known-and-probable-human-carcinogens.html

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