Culture & Lifestyle / Cancer Skin Care – Do’s And Don’ts

Cancer Skin Care – Do’s And Don’ts

Culture & Lifestyle Aug 08, 2014

How cancer treatment changes skin care treatments.

According to a recent survey, there is a worrying increase in cancer rates amongst South Asians. The men's rate increased by 28 percent and prevalence amongst women rose 24 percent over the last decade. 

Cancer is the leading cause of disease worldwide, and an estimated 32.5 million new cancer cases occurred in the span of last five years, as reported in the World Health Organization cancer factsheet for 2014.

If you’re undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatment, you need to tread lightly into the spa waters. We chatted with Dermalogica’s Education Manager, Holly Sherrard, to find out the most common dos and don’ts of skin therapy treatments for oncology patients.


DO choose a certified oncology skin care therapist who knows which treatments are best suited and when.

DO ensure you receive a comprehensive consultation and thorough skin analysis.

DO seek customized treatments that use products to improve skin integrity and encourage total body wellness.

DO use products that soothe, heal and offer barrier protection.

DO use plant-based products that help sensitivity and inflammation.

DO use products such as oatmeal, arnica and Canadian willow herb to gently build up the skin’s barrier.

DO consult a skin care expert before purchasing new products, so they can prescribe based on proper knowledge.

DO wear sunscreen every day – physical SPF is gentler on the skin by reflecting the sun’s rays off the body.


DON’T use products with artificial fragrances (can cause nausea).

DON’T look for one-size-fits-all recommendations or treatments.

DON’T use aggressive exfoliants that can cause skin sensitivity.

DON’T treat acne-related breakouts due to medication from cancer therapies. Refer to your physician.

DON’T do chemical peels.

DON’T treat hyperpigmentation due to radiation. Skin will be too fragile.

DON’T do laser hair removal.

DON’T book manicures or pedicures. A simple manicure can lead to lymphedema.

DON’T book massages. An arm massage after a lumpectomy can lead to lymphedema.

DON’T complete any microdermabrasion.

DON’T receive therapies using electrical currents that can further aggravate the skin.

DON’T wax, as it may be painful and tear the skin, increasing the risk of infection.

DON’T do body wraps. When you’re fighting cancer, your body is already working hard to detox. Detoxifying will put more stress on the body, leading to vomiting or serious illness. It can also detox cancer-fighting medications out of your system.

We hope the above tips are helpful for our readers going through treatment. Just remember it's important that your physician is aware of any skin care options you’re considering.

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