Santa Fe New Mexican

The Journey

Cancer treatments and their side effects may cause you to look and feel different. The Look Good Feel Better® program offers the following tips about caring for your nails, skin and hair. NAILS: • Wear gloves while washing dishes, and avoid keeping your hands in water for very long – it can lead to fungal infections. • Tell your doctor if you notice signs of inflammation or infection, such as dark or lifted nail beds. • Don’t use hand creams with alpha hydroxy or beta hydroxy acids. • Always use formaldehyde-free nail polish and avoid artificial nails during chemotherapy. SKIN: Talk to the patient educator about the best ways to protect your skin if you have chemotherapy or radiation treatments. Tell your doctor if you notice any signs of infection, such as redness, irritation, or puffiness. HAIR LOSS: Not everyone loses hair during cancer treatment, but radiation, chemotherapy and targeted therapy can harm cells that help hair grow, according to the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Your hair’s texture and color could be different when it regrows. Be gentle with yourself if you experience hair loss. BEAUTY RESOURCES: Your patient navigator or social worker can help you find local headwear resources or visit or Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from a lack of eyelashes. • American Cancer Society Tender Loving Care — A nonprofit shop for affordable wigs, hair-loss products and mastectomy products at • or 1-888-793-9355 for resources Look Good Feel Better® Program— A free program to help female cancer patients deal with appearance-related side effects of cancer and treatments. Virtual workshops are available to learn about skincare, make-up, wigs and head coverings. Call 1-800-395-5665 or visit LOCAL RESOURCE The Patient Resource Center — Provides free wigs, bras, hats, scarfs and breast prosthetics to cancer patients, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, Christus St. Vincent Regional Cancer Center, 2nd floor, 490 W. Zia Road., 505-913-3095