Dermatology and Skin Care after Breast Cancer
The skin is the largest organ of your body, and often an external vision of your inner health. In addition, breast cancer treatment can pose a number of different challenges when it comes to skin care. You may have to change your routine to ensure you have a better outcome.
A poor diet will make your skin look dull. So too will a bad skin care routine. You should have a daily routine of cleansing, moisturizing and protecting from the sun, and carry this out to the best of your ability even on the days when all you want to do is lay in bed. Exfoliating a couple of times a week is also a good idea to get rid of dead skin on the surface that can make skin dull.
The main challenge of surgery is wound care, to make sure that your surgical site does not get infected. You will have a surgical drain in your chest and will not be allowed to get the area wet for about 1 week. Sponge baths using a gentle cleanser such as pure liquid Castile soap is your best option.
The skin can also be sore, bruised and feel very stretched and perhaps even oozing or flaking. It is important not to scratch and to discuss any creams with your doctor that might be safe.
Radiation therapy will pose a number of skin care challenges. You will probably not be allowed to use deodorant, or your usual soap, body wash, or moisturizers because they could have metallic content which might interfere with your treatment.
The treatment will be aimed at the right place with as much of a focused and concentrated beam as possible, but the entire area can become red, peeling or discolored. It will often resemble a mild to bad case of sunburn. Your doctor can offer suggestions as to safe creams you can use to care for your skin and get relief.
Chemotherapy can cause a range of issues, from dry skin all over the body, to sores, particularly in and around the mouth, which can make it difficult to chew and swallow. Lip balm and various moisturizers can help.
Protect your skin from the sun because it will be more prone to sunburn. Avoid any products with a lot of scent, as this can irritate skin even more or trigger an allergic reaction.
Take care of your skin and you should manage to keep it healthy throughout your cancer treatments.