Chemotherapy can cause different side effects in different people. Your chemotherapy treatment may change the way you feel about yourself. Below are some health and beauty tips to help you feel and look better during chemotherapy. Remember to check with your doctor what is best for you.
- Sunscreen and moisturiser every day no matter what the weather is like and even if you are only going outside for five minutes.
- When showering use mild non-soap products and wash your scalp with a gentle face wash or a scalp oil.
- Silk pillowcases for when your hair starts to fall out as they are gentle and soft.
- Stay hydrated; drink heaps of water, much more than you would usually. It is good for your body but also helps the nurses find your veins.
- Get lots of rest and sleep and consider gentle yoga and meditation to help you relax.
- Eat nutritious and healthy food as much as possible.
- For your mouth, suck on fruit tingles, use bicarbonate of soda as a mouthwash, brush your teeth with a soft toothbrush and use a topical local anesthetic, such as xylocaine viscous, for mouth ulcers.
- For sore muscles and aches use heat packs and have regular massages.
- Keep up your usual routine as energy permits (if your energy is low reduce your commitment), for example walking and working.
- Try to walk every day even if it is a short walk.
- To help with constipation, use coloxyl, senna, chia seeds and flaxseed.
- Attend a Look Good Feel Better Program, these are a free 2 1⁄2 hour workshop for people undergoing treatment for any type of cancer and include beauty tips and products to take home, LINK:
- Use tinted moisturiser, particularly with sunscreen to add a touch of colour.
- Smile – it’s really obvious and corny but smiling can make you feel better on the inside and looks great on the outside.
- If your eyebrows and eyelashes fall out, consider eyebrow tattooing and eyelash extensions. Wear lots of bright colours, head scarves, clothes and make up.
- Look after your nails, paint them a dark colour to help protect them or use shellac as it lasts for weeks and is nice and shiny.
- Get some bright funky hats and headscarves and dress them up with headbands. Use Google and YouTube for ideas on how to tie them and match your headwear to your clothes.
- Take the time each day to do your make up, draw on your eyebrows and get out of your PJ’s, as although it takes effort it will make you feel better.
- If you know you are definitely going to lose your hair, get a new hairstyle/colour you have always wanted to try.
- Purchase a wig (if your budget allows) especially for special occasions.
Pink Hope members who have undergone chemotherapy provided the content of this document. The Cancer Council website also has information on managing the side effects of chemotherapy.