So many aspects of cancer treatment dry the skin. Moisturize it baby! Radiation is like one big, bad sun burn. Protect your skin more than usual during and after the months of radiation. I did and my skin looks great again.
- Cleanse with warm water, not hot, and moisturize while your skin is damp. In the morning, moisturize. At nighttime, moisturize.
- Drink plenty of water. Things like soup, pudding, or popsicles also count as liquids. If you want flavor to water, add a tiny bit of juice. Sodas and warm liquids don’t hydrate. Hydration—inside and out of the body, is really important for skin care.
- Stay out of the sun, especially during treatments like chemo and radiation. You may notice temporary pigmentation changes. Maybe red, or tan blotches. Cosmetic concealer may help, or just roll with it. (Depending on the area being treated, you may be asked not to wear make-up, perfumes or deodorant.)
Two weeks into my radiation the weather was gorgeous. I had plans to meet with friends staying at a local beach cottage. Aware forgiveness is often easier obtained than permission, I told my doctor my weekend plans, adding “I’ll only be in direct sun a few hours.” I wasn’t sure he’d give me the nod. He okayed it with my using sunscreen, a broad-brimmed hat, tying a scarf around my neck, and wearing a blouse with a collar over a tank top. I doubt I would have thought it through to this extent, and it would have been a bummer to show up for Monday radiation with a sun burn. They postpone—not cancel treatments. My self-imposed cancer treatment rule was: No postponing any treatments. Focus on the light at the end of the tunnel and do whatever it takes to get there as soon as possible.
Your body will thank you – now and later.