Information & Advice
Cancer may be the toughest fight you have to face but there is support available to help you cope.
One common side effect of cancer treatment is how it changes your appearance, which can understandably affect the way you feel about yourself.
Our Boots Macmillan Beauty Advisors are No7 advisors who are trained to offer tips to help manage these changes, so you can start to feel more like you again.
Different cancer treatments can affect the skin in various ways. Depending on how you react, your skin may become dry, sensitive and sore.
Skin may become dry, sensitive and sore. If your skin becomes dry, try a gentle, creamy cleanser and avoid soap, or products with alcohol or perfume. Instead of hot showers, use lukewarm water and pat your skin dry.
Try rich and creamy moisturisers with ingredients like glycerine, hyaluronic acid or cocoa butter. An emollient cream with oatmeal may soothe itchy skin.
If your skin becomes oily, a muslin cloth can help clean your skin but avoid using exfoliators.
If you develop a rash, speak to your cancer nurse specialist or oncology team straight away.
Cancer treatment may cause light skin to redden and dark skin to become darker.
A green-tinted primer can help tone down flushed skin, while a medium-coverage foundation, with sun protection, can help disguise colour changes.
You may need foundation in a different colour to your usual one, so check it isn't visible at your jaw line.
If you are not used to wearing foundation, tinted moisturiser may be a good option for you.
Try to use these products sparingly and pat rather than rub them onto the skin to avoid further redness.
Don't forget to protect from the sun too with at least SPF 30. Watch our video for more tips for enhancing your appearance.
Some cancer treatments may cause hair thinning or complete hair loss but this usually grows back afterwards.
To help slow down hair loss, try to avoid combing your hair if it is brittle, or if your scalp is dry, and use a soft brush. Avoid using curling tongs, hairdryers or straighteners.
If you choose to wear a wig, trying one before treatment may help you get used to wearing one. Scarves, turbans and hats are stylish options for covering hair loss and protecting the scalp.
Treatments like radiotherapy may only affect the area being treated, so you may still shave. Using an electric shaver instead of wet shaving minimises the risk of cuts.
Make up can help disguise missing eyebrows and eyelashes. Our video has some tips to help guide you.
During treatment, nails may grow more slowly and become brittle but they should go back to normal afterwards.
Using hand and foot cream regularly, as well as a nail-strengthening cream, helps manage these changes.
A cuticle cream can help prevent dryness and splitting but do not cut the cuticles.
Avoid splitting by using an emery board rather than a nail cutter. Keeping nails short and smooth will avoid snagging. If your nails are not sore and have not spilt, you may disguise colour changes with nail varnish but do not use false nails.
Wearing gloves during housework helps prevent infections. If your nails are sore, this may be due to an infection which needs treatment. Speak to your cancer nurse specialist or oncology team.
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