Tips for managing skin reactions

Targeted therapies are one of the treatment options for colorectal cancer, and head and neck cancer. Skin reactions are one of the side effects usually experienced during treatment with targeted therapies.
Some tips to help care for skin reactions which may occur as a result of treatment with targeted therapies are mentioned below.

General Cleansing

The skin should be washed in lukewarm water. The skin should not be washed too frequently, as frequent washing dries the skin. It is also important to use products that are specifically designed for sensitive skin, and to avoid products such as soap or alcohol-based products, that dry the skin. The skin should be patted dry after a shower. Avoid rubbing the skin.

Use of a moisturiser

Use a hypoallergenic moisturising lotion/cream every day to smooth the skin and to prevent it from becoming dry. Your doctor may also prescribe a type of cream which will help prevent or minimize skin reactions.

Scalp care

Use a gentle shampoo with lukewarm water to wash the hair. Do not wash hair too frequently and allow it to dry naturally. Avoid using a hair dryer.

Nail care

The nails should be trimmed in a straight line. Wear properly fitted footwear, with room around the toes. Wear protective gloves during household cleaning. The nails may also be soaked in warm water or vinegar solution (ratio: 1 part vinegar to 1 part water) for 15 minutes each day, 3 to 4 times daily.

Sun protection

Avoid or protect the skin from the sun. When outdoors, wear protective clothing for sun protection like fine cotton clothes and a hat. Use hypo-allergenic, broad spectrum protection sunscreens containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide.