Cancer treatments may cause different types of skin changes and reactions, which could be a source of discomfort and pain. Although skin changes are usually mild and will improve once treatment completes, some may be potentially serious or can cause long-term damage. However, not all changes are negative and certain rashes are actually associated with better response to cancer treatment. It is thus important to inform your doctor or nurse once you notice any skin changes or reactions, so that they can be assessed and treated promptly.
Causes of Skin changes
What you need to look out for
Depending on your condition and the type of cancer treatment you are receiving, skin changes that you may experience can include:
How it can be treated
Treatment will depend on the
severity of your skin problems, as well as any
associated symptoms you may experience. These may include:
Your doctor will also decide on whether there is a need to adjust your treatment, particularly if you experience more serious skin reactions and problems. If necessary, you may be referred to a dermatologist, who specializes in managing skin conditions.
What you can do
Although some skin changes cannot be avoided entirely, there are things you can do to reduce uncomfortable symptoms and prevent complications. Even before starting any cancer treatment, start moisturizing and protecting your skin on a regular basis. The following are some other steps you can take:
When to call your cancer care team
Please inform your doctor or nurse if you notice or experience any of the following:
If you have any questions regarding the above information, please call Cancer Helpline at +65 6225 5655 or approach your doctor or nurse for further details.
The above contents have been approved by the Cancer Education Information Service, National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS), for people with cancer and their families and caregivers.
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