Changes to your skin

Your skin may experience changes during blood cancer treatment, but there are ways that you can manage this to reduce discomfort.

You may experience changes to your skin throughout treatment. Dryness, soreness, sensitivity and itchiness of the skin are common side effects of cancer treatment, such as chemotherapy. These side effects can be uncomfortable and there is a chance that they may continue after treatment. Managing these side effects can help to alleviate the problem and make you more comfortable whilst undergoing treatment. You may find that you need to care for your skin differently  than before treatment.

You may find the following skincare advice helpful:

  • Use only natural products without harsh chemicals and perfumes as these can dry your skin further and irritate your skin.
  • Be gentle with your skin – don’t use harsh exfoliators or scrubs and be careful when washing your face.
  • Use less soap, as this can dry our your skin further.
  • Moisturise your skin regularly to help hydrate your skin, avoiding products that contain alcohol as these can be drying.
  • Use lip balm daily from the start of treatment to prevent chapped lips.
  • Protect your skin from the sun as any sunburn can emphasise soreness.
  • Don’t forget to look after your hands and feet by moisturising them often from the start of chemotherapy.
  • Look after your fingernails and toenails by using a natural, oil-based product to moisturise.
  • Apply sun cream to your head if you experience hair loss, or wear a hat, to protect the sensitive skin on your scalp.

Published: Feb 2016

Next planned review: Feb 2018