NCCN Guidelines for Patients® | Caring for Adolescents and Young Adults - page 68

NCCN Guidelines for Patients
: Caring for Adolescents and Young Adults
Version 2013
Part 6: Coping with side effects
Being gentle is equally important when caring for your
nails and skin. As your nails may be much more likely to
catch and tear, consider keeping them short and well-
trimmed and steer clear of fake nails and tips. Basic skin
care tips include:
Use warm, not hot, water when bathing,
Stick with mild, unscented soaps and moisturizers,
Use soft washcloths rather than loofahs or other
exfoliants and dry yourself with the softest possible
towels, and pat rather than rub,
Avoid alcohol-based products,
Keep your skin well moisturized with hypoallergenic,
unscented, water-based products,
For severe dryness or the inflammation of hand-
foot syndrome, try a rich skin lubricant such as Bag
or Udderly Smooth
right after bathing, and
Wear soft, loose clothing next to your skin to prevent
chafing and irritation of sensitive areas.
If you experience severe skin reactions, your treatment
team may try prescription medications or creams, or revise
the treatment plan to give your skin time to recover.
Mucositis and stomatitis
Why it happens
Your GI tract—from the mouth right through to the
other end—is lined with cells that are constantly
dividing and replacing themselves every four or five
days, which makes them vulnerable to being damaged
by chemotherapy. Cancer treatment can lead to
inflammation throughout the GI tract (mucositis)—often
with pain and diarrhea—and inflammation and sores in
the mouth (oral mucositis or stomatitis).
What you can do
Be kind to your mouth and the rest of your GI tract.
Keep your mouth clean and well lubricated, and avoid
products and foods that can irritate inflamed tissues
and open sores.
For more information on hair loss, skin care, and
other appearance-related issues, check out:
Wigs for Cancer Patients at the Cancer and
Careers Web site (
Wigs and Hair Donation on the American
Cancer Society’s Web site (
The American Cancer Society’s “tlc”™ Tender
Loving Care catalog
Look Good Feel Better
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