Chemotherapy often causes dry, irritated skin. Itching is a common complaint and can stem from multiple causes: the chemotherapy drug, a patient’s naturally dry skin or as a symptom of the cancer itself. While many patients search for itch relief with over-the-counter hydrocortisone creams, they’re often too weak to be effective. They also try to treat itching with topical and oral prescription medications, but most cancer patients cannot get significant safe relief from their chronic itching.
Capsaicin essentially switches off the itch mechanism by blocking itch signals between the nerves in the skin and the brain. While there can be some slight burning when you first use it on heavily scratched areas, it goes away in seconds and stops itching in less than a minute for most people. Unlike steroids and medications, the more you use ThermaSkin, the less you need it. It's actually quite miraculous and is truly the closest thing to a cure for all itching.
Tips to prevent skin problems during chemotherapy treatments.
- Avoid long, hot showers or baths.
- Use gentle, fragrance-free soaps and laundry detergent.
- Use moisturizers, preferably creams or ointments rather than lotions because the thicker consistency is better at preventing skin dehydration. Apply the cream or ointment within 15 minutes of showering. Reapply moisturizer at night, and moisturize your hands every time after you wash them.
- If your skin is very dry and flaky, ammonium lactate cream can increase moisture. These creams are available by prescription and over-the-counter.
- Some chemotherapy drugs make skin more susceptible to sunburn. Use a sunscreen with at least an SPF 30, and make sure that it protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Protection against UVA requires ingredients such as zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, or avobenzone.
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