Cancer and Skin: Taking Care of Yourself to Regain Confidence

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

The news that you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer can cause a great shock and upheaval in many areas of your life. In addition to the changes that occur invisibly inside the body, several changes can be observed in your physical appearance. Given the repercussions this can have on your self-esteem, we offer you some recommendations to take care of yourself and your skin.

Depending on the intensity or frequency of chemotherapy or radiotherapy treatments, several unwanted skin effects can occur, taking many and varied forms. Due to the nature of the treatments, which target cancer cells but also affect healthy cells, the skin is generally weakened. The skin may therefore be more sensitive, reactive, or get irritated more easily.

Dry skin; also called xerosis

Cause: Alteration of the skin barrier and decrease in sebum production.

Manifestations: Dry skin or eczema.

Acneiform eruptions, not to be confused with acne

Manifestations: Itching or feeling of discomfort, without comedones or cysts.

Hand-foot syndrome

Manifestations: The hands or feet show more or less dryness or scaling.

Various pigmentary changes

Manifestations: Hyperpigmentation of the skin (chemotherapy), hypopigmentation, and depigmentation (targeted biotherapies).

Caution: Exposure to the sun can make these spots appear more intense.

Photosensitization during anticancer treatments

Manifestations: Inflammation, burning, or change in pigmentation

What are the products or actions to be favored to deal with it?

Certain procedures or care products can help minimize the skin discomfort caused by chemotherapy or radiotherapy treatments.

Keep the skin hydrated as much as possible

In order to re-establish the skin barrier, substances that are termed occlusive or film-forming work against excessive water loss. This is because they form a thin physical film on the surface of the skin, which protects it while preventing water from evaporating. These anti-dehydrating agents are, for example, argan oil or shea butter, ingredients that are found in the silky and rich textures of Omy personalized creams.

Capture water and retain it on the surface of the skin

The so-called hygroscopic ingredients have the ability to capture and hold water. Hyaluronic acid falls into this category. As it is found at a high content in the personalized serum, it helps to fight against dehydration. To use it to its full potential, after spraying mineral aquifer water, apply it directly to damp skin to trap water molecules in the epidermis.

Use hygiene products that respect the pH of the skin

In order not to alter the skin barrier, it is important to select a cleanser with a pH that is qualified as physiological. Dermatological bars, "soap-free soaps", Active Omy cleansing foam, or Delicate mineral micellar water are all products that meet this criterion. Indeed, with their adapted pH, they do not alter the hydrolipidic film present on the surface of the skin and acting as a shield.

Refresh and soothe sensitized or irritated skin

A cool spray, supplied with mineral-rich water such as mineral aquifer water, helps soothe the skin and reduce inflammation following treatments. Its richness in essential minerals helps restore the balance of the skin, which is itself rich in several of these components.

Take care of yourself, even of your hands

Hand care is recommended for people who are undergoing chemotherapy treatments with a significant impact on the hair, body hair, or nails. Using a moisturizing and nourishing cream helps fight dryness and repair cracks in the hands. Delicate Omy hand cream captures moisture in the skin and helps restore its skin barrier with ceramides, argan oil, and shea butter. This can also be applied to nails damaged or weakened by treatments.

"Luckily, I discovered the Omy products just in time to save my skin which suddenly had specific needs. I am confident that no ingredient is going to make my newly capricious skin react because Omy takes the time to personalize your cream."
- Sabrina, triple-negative breast cancer survivor.

Ingredients to avoid throughout the treatment, and even after

Since the skin of people undergoing or having undergone cancer treatments is weakened, the safety of the products used is even more important.

Drying or “stripping” ingredients

Because of their tendency to destabilize the hydrolipid membrane, alcohol and soap should be avoided at all times, as they are not suitable for fragile skin. These products have an effect of delipidant, that is to say, they dissolve fat. They, therefore, tend to also entrain the sebum present on the surface of the skin, leaving it dry and/or irritated.

Allergenic or photosensitizing ingredients

All potential allergens should be avoided on more sensitive or more reactive skin. We speak in particular of synthetic perfumes, fragrances, or essential oils. In addition to their strong allergenic potential, some can have a photosensitizing effect, thus increasing sensitivity to the sun. Methylisothiazolinone, often abbreviated as MIT, is a preservative that can cause allergies or irritation, especially on damaged skin.

Ingredients derived from petroleum

All ingredients from petroleum chemistry, such as petroleum jelly, paraffin, or mineral oil, form a greasy film on the skin and tend to suffocate it. Silicones also have this property and should be avoided as much as possible.

Chemical filters in sun products

Some chemical filters used in sun products are suspected or considered to be endocrine disruptors. In addition, their irritant or allergenic potential can cause reactions as well as photosensitization. The use of mineral sunscreens is therefore recommended, as these remain on the surface of the skin.

Formaldehyde and the molecules that release it

Formaldehyde, used as a hardening agent in several cosmetic products, is classified as a known human carcinogen. Ingredients that are added in order to be slowly converted to this molecule should also be avoided, given their irritating, allergenic, and potentially carcinogenic properties.

We hope that these few recommendations will help you keep your spirits up at this time of your life which can be difficult, both physically and psychologically. Do not hesitate to contact us for personalized advices or if you have any questions regarding an ingredient or a product. We will answer your questions with the greatest pleasure!

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