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How to treat itchy skin after chemo

How to treat itchy skin after chemo

60% of Product is absorbed by your skin!

The human body never ceases to amaze me but that fact that 60% is absorbed through your skin kinda blew me away when I first heard it.

Chemo side effects

One of the rotten side effects of going through cancer treatment, both chemotherapy and radiotherapy is that they have such a negative effect on your skin. Cancer has definitely aged me, and not just in adding a few grey hairs (to the few that thankfully grew back!)but it has aged my skin aswell.  Chemotherapy toxins are supposed to kill off any rapid growing tumour cells unfortunately they also kill of the rapid growing healthy cells such as skin, hair and nails.  When I was going through treatment my nails were lifting from the nail bed, I had hand foot syndrome where layers of skin on my feet were just peeling off causing them to be very inflamed and sore and my skin was dryer that that of an elephants/rhino backside.

Now in the big scheme of things and everything put in perspective it was not something that I was going to start moaning about seeing as the doctors and medical profession were trying to save my life – I wasn’t going to start whinging about my itchy and dry skin! But I must admit it just added to list of shitty things going wrong and I know for a friend of mine inflamed, cracked and itchy skin has caused unnecessary treatment interruptions that she really did not need at the time.

100% Confidence

I learnt that half the battle is being aware of the effects of cancer treatment has on the skin and then adopting a good preventative regimen where I could be 100% confident in what I was using on my skin.

So I did some research and found some beautiful products that are FDA approved, 100% natural, never tested on animals, paraben free, allergy tested and even better were specifically designed by cancer care centres, oncology nurses and cancer patients. Products that are a whole lot more interesting for what they do NOT contain rather than for what they do.

Jennifer Young Defiant Beauty and Lindi skin luxurious skin care ranges are perfect to help ease the negative effects of cancer treatment.  Both have a full skin care range of serums, intensive serums, cooling sprays, face washes, soothing balms, minty foot lotions, hand lotions, lip balms…. where their list of ingredients are nourishing shea and mango butters, calming calendula, organic apricot and peach oils, anti aging jojoba…to name but a few.  I was so thrilled to come across these products when I was so worried about what I was putting on my skin and especially when the list of ingredients made me feel that a world of beauty products and of luxurious pampering could be mine at a time when I really needed it most.

Jennifer Young Cleansing Balm

My favourite of all of these fantastic Jennifer Young products has to be the Jennifer Young Cleansing Balm. At €18.00 its well worth the money as it does more that what is says on the label.  You warm a small amount of this soothing balm on your fingers and apply it to the face, then wipe it off with some warm damp cotton wool pads.  If you fancy pampering yourself then apply it again to the face and leave over night as a mask and your skin will certainly thank you for it in the morning.  Are your lips a little chapped? Dab a little of this baby on them.  Skin on your feet a bit dry? then treat yourself by rubbing this balm to the soles of your feet – if you are really feeling like having your own beauty salon then warm your cosy, fat socks on the rad and pop these on while you put your feet up with a cup of tea and bar chocolate – what is not to love!!

Lindi Skin Cooler Roll

On the Lindiskin product range the Lindi Skin Cooler Roll gets my vote every time.  This cooler roll uses aloe vera to provide relief to skin that is inflamed, red and sore.  I used it on a chemo rash that I had on my face, also known as EEGFR rash (don’t ask me what those letter stand for I have forgotten!) which was itchy, burning, tender and sore.  Little tricks I learnt with this is: keep it in the fridge and cut a size strip to cover the inflammation  and it straight away cools and takes the heat from the area.  I still use it now for the hot flushes and night sweats which are just ick!  But I have my trusty cooler roll in the fridge ready to come to my rescue! It can be used by the whole family: sunburn, insect bites, etc all are helped with the Lindi skin Cooler Roll.  Don’t tell anyone I said this but I have been known to give the strip a rinse under the tap and put is back in a sealer sandwich bag in the fridge and reuse it 2 more times!  #loverecyling

Click here to view all products

A few tips…

Other tips to help when you a feeling like one big itch that I found helped:

  • Don’t use antibacterial soaps or any products with alcohol as they dry out the skin use mild gentle products.
  • Don’t rub the skin after a shower, (try not to take hot baths) just pat dry.
  • Wear soft loose fitting cotton clothes, no wool.
  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and flush out those nasty toxins.
  • Never use heat pads or ice packs on radiation areas and do not use oils on the affected area as this can decrease the efficiency of the treatment.
  • Avoid washing dishes or any tasks that needs chemicals as they can irritate the skin – my best advice would be delegate all household chores (every cloud eh!)
  • Keep the skin moisturised by using high quality moisturisers, light weight serums and balms to help nourish the skin and super hydrate it.

It’s not just those going through cancer treatment that are looking for these products –my sister, who is in Singapore and suffers from really itchy psoriasis, loves when I send her on these fab products for her skin.

Anyone with compromised, sensitive skin would love these products be it the cold weather, central heating, the sun (when we see it once or twice a year!!)that is causing us or skin to feel irritated, itchy and sore.

Bye for now,


All these products are available to buy and can be ordered by phoning me on 086-863 4592.

I will happily advise you if you have any questions or queries.

Caroline Warren
Therapeutic and Oncology Massage Therapist at | caroline@touchtherapycentre.ie

Caroline is a therapeutic and oncology massage therapist, and founder of the Touch Therapy Centre in Cork. The Touch Therapy Centre offers a range of specialised therapeutic and oncology massage treatments in a safe and comforting environment for those going through a serious illness or for those who simply want to relax, recharge and unwind.

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