Chemotherapy is such a difficult treatment. Your doctor will tell you all about how chemo will make you feel, but rarely do they mention the impact it will have on your appearance. Being prepared for changes like losing your hair and dealing with rashes can truly keep people from any unnecessary surprises during this time. But if you are already dealing with these issues, we have some ways to make sure you can still feel beautiful while being a true warrior.
Consider a Wig in a Radical New Style
A common side effect of chemo is loss of hair. Some of us can easily pull off being bald, but a lot of women find it easier to feel beautiful with hair. So, it never hurts to try a wig. If it works for Moira Rose, then why not give it a shot.
If you do not like wigs or find them too itchy, then you can always try hats and scarves. These might not be the same as having hair, but if they are more comfortable then they may be the better option for you. There is a large variety of chemo head scarves around that can be as full of your personality as a new hairstyle (and it is a lot easier to change).
Along with a wig, hat, or scarves, do not forget to take care of your scalp. If you are not wearing anything on your scalp, make sure that you are using sunscreen to prevent sun damage when going outside.
Take Care of Your Nails
Chemotherapy can be hard on your nails. It can cause them to be brittle and easily damaged, and it puts you at a higher risk for infection. Because of the risks, it is recommended that any nail care be done at home rather than going to a salon. Infections can spread a lot more easily at a salon where tools may be reused and not thoroughly cleaned.
Try an antibacterial soak for your nails to keep them from getting infected while also making sure they get the attention they need. Your nails may be more likely to snap and break, so make sure you are keeping your nails trimmed to avoid this.
Painting your nails during chemo is perfectly fine, but your doctor may ask you to remove the polish when you go so that they can check for possible infections. Always use nontoxic polish to be safe.
Chemo is very toxic to rapidly growing cells such as skin and hair. So, it is vital to take care of your skin during chemo. Having the right skincare routine can you feel beautiful while ensuring that your skin is moisturized and ready to go.
Moisturizing your skin is the most important step you can take during chemo to make sure you are looking your best. Try something with an SPF in it because your skin will be more prone to sun damage during chemo.
If you are dealing with acne during chemo, then it can be a little more difficult to manage. Most acne treatments have benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid which will severely dry out your skin. It is best to try a topical steroid or antibiotic as they can speed up the healing process while reducing redness and irritation.
Always make sure to protect your skin from sun damage. Chemotherapy tends to make skin more sensitive to sunlight. So, use some SPF before leaving for the day.
Wear Whatever You Want
Going through chemo is one of the toughest things that anyone could go through. So, take this time to really do whatever you want. That black dress that you have not worn yet, wear it. If you want to be comfortable, you do not have to always wear sweatpants. Just because you are going through a tough time does not mean that you cannot be proud of how you look, and if getting ready every day was part of your routine before, don’t feel like you have to sacrifice that with the rest that cancer is trying to take from you.
If you like bright-colored fabrics, then wear them. If you like floral prints, then wear them. Chemo may mean losing your hair and nails in the process, but that does not mean you have to lose your confidence. So, buy that dress you have been eyeing for months and wear it out to lunch with your friends.
Most people are going to ask you to dress comfortably or reasonably, but why waste your time and money? Wear whatever you want. You have your own sense of style, so take this hard and uncertain time to truly own it and build that confidence.
Get more uplifting ideas, thoughts, and practices in “Chemo More Secrets to Thriving“ a book written by Sammie Justesen R,N. A truly lovely read, filled with uplifting ideas, thoughts, and practices to help you get through difficult days. These are just a few things you can do during chemo to start feeling like yourself. The most important thing is to take care of yourself in any way that you can. Whether that is sticking to a daily skincare routine or just taking a relaxing bath, self-care is vital while going through chemo. Not only is the treatment hard on your body but going through this is also hard on your mental health. So, do whatever makes you feel like the strong, beautiful warrior that you are.