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post chemotherapy skin care - can anyone help please?

(17 Posts)
MrsShrek3 Sat 27-Apr-13 12:01:06

DH has finished chemo about ten weeks ago. since then he still had had dry itchy skin but not a huge problem. But over the last couple of weeks he's been scratching and with every itch he's scratching holes in himself as his skin is so thin.sad nothing appears infected as far as i can see (yet) but any advice on what to do, what moisturiser or emollient - dc have eczema so plenty if e45 and vaseline here but don't know what to do. (and he's clueless)grin

Elibean Sat 27-Apr-13 12:09:33

Not vaseline - it ends up making the dryness worse, IME.

I would try Aveeno for moisurising (this is based on very dry skinned family, but not specifically chemo skin) and on very itchy bits, maybe try Eurax?

Also emollient bath things, maybe? And porridge oats in bath - put them in an old pair of tights so they don't stuff up your plug hole!

Hope someone else comes along with more specific ideas, and good luck to your dh smile

MrsShrek3 Sat 27-Apr-13 12:32:04

thank you eli smile I do the oat sock in bath for the dc but hadn't thought of it for DHblush
hadn't heard of eurax (sounds like something to clean your ears with lol) Will investigate, thank you

CMOTDibbler Sat 27-Apr-13 12:38:12

I'd ring the chemo nurses and ask their advice as in the circs it might just need a bit more intervention than usual and stuff I'd recommend otherwise like taking a piriton as a short term anti itch might not be a good idea.

Elibean Sat 27-Apr-13 13:31:51

Yes, agree with CMOT, I'd ring the chemo nurses as well - can't hurt, might help! I'm sure he's not the first to get dry skin, so maybe they have some tried and tested ideas.

dh gets very itchy dry patches sometimes for no particular reason, and Eurax is a good general anti-itch cream. We used it on dc with chicken pox, amongst other things. But do check with chemist/chemo nurses before using anything new?

IamtheZombie Sat 27-Apr-13 17:31:23

I had to use Aqueous Cream during the radiotherapy after my chemo.

If the itch is just because the skin is dry, I think Aveeno is the best moisturiser around.

MrsJohnDeere Sat 27-Apr-13 20:48:17

Another vote for Aveeno. Has worked well for my chemo skin although I've only used it on my hands, legs and feet, not my face.

KurriKurri Sat 27-Apr-13 22:28:55

I'd def, ask his oncy, or chemo unit, - there's various creams that will help, - aqueous, eucarin, (or, -I used a baby moisturizer - Johnson's baby soothing naturals) it's a bit suck it and see to find which one works best.

But also I think he needs to get something for the itching - antihistamines or something, - I found after chemo I became much more sensitive to irritants (I'd never had allergies before but after chemo I got hayfever, eczema etc etc.)

It does unfortunately bugger up your system a bit - so if they can tackle it topically and systemically then he's got a better chance of being more comfortable smile

Good luck to him in his treatment - hope he is doing OK - I remember reading your thread when he was first DX, - hope you are OK too xx

(there is lady on the tamoxifen thread who has had problems with v. itchy skin since her chemo, when she's next about and posting I'll direct her to this thread - she might have some tips smile)

MrsShrek3 Sat 27-Apr-13 22:29:57

thank you mrsJD (and everyone who's posted, obv) Will pass that on to him, it does sound like the best to try. his scratching and itches are on his lower legs and arms mostly. some higher up his legs and neck, but not on his face.
I've confiscated his crappy shower gel too wink

MrsShrek3 Sat 27-Apr-13 22:30:53

<waves to kurri> sorry x post

minmooch Sat 27-Apr-13 22:37:51

My DS oncology nurses recommended aqueous cream or E45. Also to use E45 shower products.

His hay fever at the moment is terrible.

KurriKurri Sat 27-Apr-13 22:47:56

I used baby shower gel too MrsS - (or baby body wash or something baby anyway) - bit more gentle on the skin. I feel for him, that itching is horrible especially when you have the thin papery chemo skin.

Also - this was a tip I have for radiotherapy - but it might help him, - I was advised to wear t shirts, PJ's etc inside out so the seams don't rub on your skin.

Showtime Sun 28-Apr-13 00:12:01

Glad you've confiscated shower gel!
Most of us don't really need soap to get clean (unless accidents etc), but I use aqueous cream soap when wanting to feel clean, and yes, oatmeal bag in the bath, no scented soap.

MrsShrek3 Sun 28-Apr-13 10:25:30

am passing all your amazing tips on. going to get aveeno today and he is already putting oats in a sock... I just hope he got the right box, organic oats, from the cupboard or he'll be having a ready-brek bath instead grin

wildstrawberryplace Sun 28-Apr-13 10:31:45

I had terrible dry itchy skin when I finished my chemo - I found that Dead Sea Magic body lotion was pretty good, Aveeno as has been mentioned, but also and perhaps the best, aquaeous cream with menthol - really stops the itching. GP can prescribe it, I think it was at 2% menthol.

I used to literally baste myself in the stuff before bed, followed by full length cotton PJs to stop the sheets getting greasy.


MrsShrek3 Sun 28-Apr-13 11:11:14

thanks wildstrawb it does help. thanks adding to my list wink we have aqueous for the dc but hadn't heard of menthol version. Will investigate!

HazeltheMcWitch Sun 28-Apr-13 15:40:52

Agree with what people have posted upthread. I found that wearing thin cotton PJs became a must at night (previously I was as nature intended to sleep), as otherwise my legs just itched all the time.

The other thing I found useful, that was recommended by my onco team, was aloe vera gel, kept in the fridge. That was great when I had a hot itch, sot of heat rash type, and was also great for radio burns, after the skin had healed over.

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