Skin, Nail, Hair and Mouth Changes

Skin Changes

The types of skin, mouth and hair changes which can occur in some patients treated with agents discussed on this section are described below. It is important to know that all of these changes are manageable.


Different kinds of skin eruptions may occur:

Some patients develop a type of rash involving flat, red areas on the skin with small bumps which feel itchy.

Your healthcare provider may refer to this as maculopapular rash.

Some patients develop pimples and associated redness. Such rashes can occur on the face, neck, shoulders and upper part of the body, although other parts of the body can be affected such as the legs.

Your healthcare provider may refer to this as papulopustular rash.

Another type of skin eruption can occur which involves localised redness or blisters followed by thickened skin on the palms of the hands, back of the hands including the knuckles, and soles of the feet.


grade 2 (moderate) hand-foot skin reaction

Your healthcare provider may refer to this as hand-foot skin reaction.

Dry skin

Some patients develop dry skin which is flaky, dull and itchy.

Itchy skin

Some patients may develop particularly itchy skin.


Some patients may have increased sensitivity to sunlight, and will burn easily in the sun.

Abnormal growths

Rarely, some patients may develop growths on the skin, which may appear slightly unusual.

Nail Changes

Some patients develop an infection and soreness next to a nail on a finger or toe which can often be inflamed and tender to touch.

Hair Changes

Some patients can experience some (temporary and partial) hair loss, which usually resolves spontaneously.  Greying of hair can also occur in some patients.

Mouth changes

Some patients may develop a dry mouth, difficulty in swallowing, taste changes, ulcers, or a burning sensation on the lips or tongue.

Your healthcare provider may refer to this as stomatitis.

Last update: 26 August 2014