Your Comprehensive Guide to Aesthetic
Issues During Cancer Treatment

Help for Nail Changes during Chemotherapy



Really, Cancer, my nails too?

Chemotherapy doesn’t discriminate when it comes to attacking cells in the body, but who thought nails could also fall prey? Changes in nails can include darkening, splitting, chipping, softening and peeling and, on rare occasions, even shed. Certain chemotherapy cocktails are definitely more notorious than others for causing problems, so ask your oncology team about what you might expect.

But in general, do not despair. Dr. Debra Jaliman, top New York City dermatologist and author of Skin Rules: Trade Secrets From a Top New York Dermatologist has some easy solutions:

“It is very important to keep your nails hydrated. Rub a small amount of a moisturizing cream into the nail and the cuticle before you go to bed. You can even use petrolatum.” Dr. Jaliman also recommends a moisturizer from her medical skin care line called Moisture Plus.

With that said, protect nails as much as possible during the day: “Wear cotton lined gloves when doing the dishes as this will help protect your nails. Make certain to dry your hands very well when removing the gloves. Use a superfatted soap or mild cleanser to wash your hands as detergents soaps can be very harsh and drying.”

3. Consider wearing nail polish to both protect the nails and hide discoloration: “Clinique and Almay both make nail polishes which tend to be less allergic than other brands.”

4. You can also strengthen nails from within: Dr. Jaliman suggests 2.5 mgs of biotin per day to strengthen your nails. Biotin can increase nail thickness by 22%! Her Hair, Nail and Skin supplement also contains biotin along with other crucial nutrients.

5. Dr. Jaliman recommends a topical prescription product called Genadur® that can help strengthen nails. Use it in the evening, as it washes off during the day.

Fortunately, as with most side effects of chemotherapy, your nails will grow out normally after the healing process. As always, check in with your medical team before trying any new treatment.


Advice from Debra Jaliman

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Really, Cancer, my nails too? Chemotherapy doesn’t discriminate when it comes to attacking cells in the body, but Read More




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