Beauty Tips for Cancer Patients

Aug 4 • 2014
Beauty Tips for Cancer Patients

Radiation and chemotherapy are often considered effective options to treat cancer, but there are a number of harsh side effects associated with both processes that can affect the way patients feel and look. Having a sense of control over their physical appearance can help maintain confidence and a high self-esteem, boosting morale and encouraging healing.



For many women, coping with hair loss as a side effect of chemotherapy is difficult. It’s important to remember that beauty and femininity are not only tied to physical features. However, it’s perfectly natural to feel insecure without the locks you once loved – and there are lots of ways to boost your confidence. You may even feel empowered to try a look that you never would’ve considered in the past!

Talk to your doctor about the likeliness that you’ll lose your hair during treatment. Preparing yourself in advance may lessen the emotional toll of hair loss. You may choose to speed up the process by cutting your hair short or shaving your head. You may choose to hold onto your hair for as long as possible, for which your stylist can recommend gentle shampoos, conditioners and styling products.

If you choose to embrace hair loss, makeup and jewelry can enhance your other beautiful features. You’ll quickly realize your hair didn’t have as significant of an impact on your appearance as you once thought!

If you’re more comfortable camouflaging your hair loss, Baptist Women’s Boutique offers a wide selection of wigs, hats, head scarves and turbans. There are styles and selections for everyone and our consultants provide one-on-one service to help women choose items that are right for them.



Dry, sensitive skin is a common side effect of chemotherapy and radiation. Switching from your regular cleanser and toner to a gentle formula for sensitive skin may be helpful. If you have oily skin and typically skip lotion on your face, you may need to start. Try to find a more intense formula – a cream or an ointment – to lock in extra moisture.

Skin may become extra sensitive to the sun’s harmful rays during treatment. Avoid the outdoors during peak hours and always wear SPF 15 or higher.

Because your immune system may become compromised during treatment, you may become more susceptible to infection. For this reason, you should consider updating your makeup bag. Throw out old lipstick, eye palettes, liners, mascara and any other products that may harbor bacteria growth. Wash makeup brushes regularly.



Cancer treatment may have a harsh effect on fingernails. In order to keep your nails healthy, avoid prolonged exposure to water. Wet nail beds can harbor fungus that may lead to infection. Make sure to wear gloves if you wash the dishes.

Use a moisturizing cream on hands and cuticles to keep skin soft and hydrated. If you choose to paint your nails, avoid polishes that contain formaldehyde.

Some changes in your nails, like raised beds or color changes, may be warning signs of infection. Instead of filing or polishing over them, bring them to your doctor’s attention.