There is no doubt that the treatment of cancer can bring about many changes, some of which can be distressing. From dry skin to hair loss, we provide suggestions on how to feel more yourself while in recovery.

Many cancer patients experience skin sensitivity during treatment. Chemotherapy can cause skin inflammation and make the skin to shed faster, which leads to flaking. This is mainly due to the skin's decrease in its natural protection. It loses moisture quickly, which results in drier skin.

The remedy: To treat sensitive skin use the gentlest cleansers you can find on both your body and face. Go for a rich and unscented moisturiser that contains protective ceramides and is suitable for sensitive skin. Products with vitamin E, glycerine, and plant extracts like chamomile are an excellent choice as well. Try as much as possible to avoid potential irritants like alcohol and exfoliants as the skin is still too sensitive at this time.

For a treat for your face, look for deep hydrating masks, which you can use once or twice a week to bring moisture to dehydrated skin.

Some treatments can cause cancer survivors to experience dramatic UV damage.

The remedy: Wear long sleeves and cover-up to protect the skin from exposure and invest in a good hat and sunglasses. Always wear sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher in the morning. Remember to keep the sunscreen with you for touch-ups throughout the day.

Losing one's hair can be distressing. Following the completion of chemotherapy, you might start seeing new hair growth after two months or so. However, the texture and colour of your hair might be different at first.

The remedy: Since your scalp is still sensitive, be gentle with it. Avoid any chemical treatment or colouring during treatment or after the first six months of it. Instead, use mild shampoos and conditioners that are fragrance and dye-free. If flakiness is a massive issue, ask your doctor to prescribe a good anti-dandruff shampoo. Also, avoid washing your hair more than twice a week to prevent stripping it of its natural oils. Try not to pull your hair as well. Instead, use a wide comb when combing your hair, making sure to hold just below the roots while gently combing. Remember to protect your scalp from sun exposure. Make sure to apply a good sunscreen to your scalp and to wear a hat.

Is your hair growing slower than you would prefer? How about trying out a wig. They come in different lengths and styles – from the ever-popular bob, and a soft puffy afro, to bouncy curls, you are spoilt for choice. Synthetic wigs are cheaper, but you will need to replace it soon. Instead, invest in a good quality human hair wig that will last you longer. Remember to treat your wig as you would your own har. So wash it with a good shampoo and conditioner. If you are feeling adventurous, how about trying a funky new colour?

Hair accessories like head wraps make a fashion statement. Wrap it like you would a turban or a side bun. Click here for a simple tutorial on how to rock your headwrap in three different ways. Don't be scared to take things up a notch. Fancy some bling? That old brooch or pin can come in handy. Want to be bold? Play around with different prints and colours to switch things up.

Hats are another excellent way to cover baldness and also offer protection from the sun. Opt for nylon or mesh to allow the skin to breathe.

Some cancer survivors may experience thinning of their eyebrows or lose them altogether.

The remedy: Using the right make-up like a wax-based pencil can help you fill in the brows so you can recreate them. Plus, the wax-based pencil stays on longer when you experience hot flashes.

According to research, about 45% of cancer patients experience nail damage or infection during their treatment.

The remedy: Soak nails in an antibacterial solution if the infection has already occurred. For the soak, mix equal parts water and white vinegar. Do this daily for 15 minutes.

When you cut your nails, be gentle, and make sure not to split or tear them as this might increase the chances of bacteria trapped inside.

Avoid nail tips, acrylic, or gel for now. If you would like to put some colour to hide nail discolouration, apply a coat of nontoxic, water-based lacquer nail polish instead. When removing the polish, use an acetone-free nail polish remover. Don't be shy with that rich hand cream. Slather and massage into your hands frequently to help keep them moisturised.

10 CHEMO COMFORT AND BEAUTY TIPS 10 CHEMO COMFORT AND BEAUTY TIPS Reviewed by Michelle Pienaar on October 21, 2020 Rating: 5
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