Oncology Therapies, Prevention and Care of Skin Effects

The project “The body found” has the objective to identify and validate guidelines for a Dermocosmetologico protocol studied for the various characteristics of oncological patient and therapies planned.

In the current pharmacological management of cutaneous toxicity reactions there are a number of fairly empirical recommendations and not validated by evidence of daily clinical practice. They also do not contemplate the more specifically cosmetic aspect and do not offer therapeutic advice tailored to the individual patient.

Since the beginning of each therapeutic cycle, the patient must adopt a series of preventive hygienic and behavioural measures that take into account the side effects of the skin organ, the “preferred” target from the consequences of surgical therapy, Pharmacological and/or radiant.

The protocol developed by the scientific Board “The body found” is intended to intensify research to prevent and treat the various side effects caused by cancer therapies.

Xerosis or dry skin

To avoid skin dryness it is necessary to pay a lot of attention to cleansing and hydration. Detergents must not contain aggressive surfactants and excessively foaming (Sodiolauril-sulfate, sodiolauriletere-sulfate), and a cleansing for “affinity” should be privileged.

Water/Oil emulsions are well in which the lipid component consists of vegetable fats of natural derivation (of Shea, of wheat germ, of jojoba, of avocado) or of synthesis (CAPRILYC capric triglyceride); Whereas cosmetics containing a large percentage of hydrocarbon derivatives (petrolatum, paraffin, Vaseline) or Silicones (Cyclomethicone, Dimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cyclohexasiloxane) should be avoided, which are currently recognised as hazardous Although still not subject to regulation on the allowed percentage.

To restore hydration and counteract the oxidative effect of pharmacological therapy, the moisturizer par excellence must be formulated with selected and targeted active ingredients: unsaponifiable (Shea, Jojoba, Olive, palm), aloe, niacinamide (Vit. B3), Tocopherols and Tocotrienols, Ceramides, Gamma Oryzanol. The low or no presence of petrolatum and silicones is important.
Avoid creams made from exfoliating and irritant substances such as glycolic acid, alpha-hydroxy and benzoyl peroxide or formulations in alcohol gel due to their desiccant and irritant power.

In case the itching is not particularly tolerated, the use of anti-H1 antihistamines (Cetirizine, loratadine, fexofenadine) may be used.

When the xerosis is so demanding to produce fissures and fissures, in addition to ensuring the disinfection of the lesions, it is possible to recommend the use of 2% aqueous eosin for local touches, associated with creams or pasta based on Vit. and zinc oxide. The choice of a formulation in ointment (made with urea and not with petrolatum) including that related to topical antibiotics, should always be privileged.

Damage Nail

For the prevention of onicopatie it is possible to use special refrigerating gloves which, worn during the infusion of the chemotherapy, reduce the local toxicity of the drugs thanks to the low temperature induced vasoconstriction (up to-250/-30 0).

In the case of an infection that causes the nail edge to be infected, topical antiseptics should be applied for the prevention of over-infection: rifampicin topical, and if necessary, topical silver nitrate, to reduce the granulation tissue.

In more serious cases, antibiotics should be considered.


The use of minoxidil topical at 2% seems to give good results especially in the case of alopecia caused by taxa and anthracycline, but does not protect from that caused by doxorubicin. Further studies are still underway.

The use of the wig by the cancer patient remains a valid solution even in the case of trophic alterations of hair and pigmentation.

The wig should be free of glues, which have irritating and sensitizering power and have a suitable texture for a stressed skin econ an altered barrier. Often, especially with biological medications, there is no real alopecia, but a massive fall that still does not cause baldness.

In these cases, it may be useful to use lotions that bring active ingredients to the hair bulb and stimulate the skin microcirculation.

It is useful to associate supplements based on antioxidants and substances dedicated to restoring the physiological cycle of keratin eg. Vitamin E, melatonin, reduced glutathione and other active ingredients in the course of studies.


1-2 times a day you apply on the post surgical scar a cream made from hyaluronic acid and rosehip Oil or of the wort to improve the elasticity of the tissue and reduce the inflammation. The use of creams formulated with extract of the Allium stock bulb also makes the scars softer and smoother.

Radiotherapy is often practised on the scar area which, paradoxically, improves the aesthetic appearance of the scar, tending to Atrofizzarla.

But this requires greater protection of the area both in terms of hydration and photoprotection.

Where possible and, in due course, plastic surgery can improve surgical damage.

Tips for fabrics and washes

It is important the choice of the fabrics to be worn and the detergents to be preferred for their washing in order to protect a skin weakened by any further irritating agent, even external.

The fabrics to be put “to skin” are undoubtedly the natural ones like cotton, linen, silk and possibly colored with vegetable colors.

They are to avoid synthetic fabrics, stretches, rough wools, garments containing metals and sequins.

Detergents for washing clothes should be chosen from the most delicate possible and used in small doses, in particular softeners. The tissues should be dried very well.


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