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What can you do?

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DOs

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Dedicate time to take care of yourself and your skin.

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Keep your skin clean using mild soaps. Use lukewarm water (32–35°C) when cleaning your skin or washing your hands.

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Always moisturise your skin after taking a bath, showering or swimming.

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Moisturise your skin daily with hypoallergenic moisturising cream (non-oil or alcohol based). Ask your doctor/nurse about possible brands.

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If you use make-up, try to use a good-quality brand. Avoid applying it to dried or inflamed areas or open cracks. Your nurse will provide you with advice and recommendations.

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Use sun protection (sun protection factor 30 or more) when staying outdoors, even for short time periods. Reapply as needed during the day.

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Wear a hat and long-sleeved clothes to protect yourself from the sun. Clothes should be changed daily.

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Use rubber cotton-lined gloves when cleaning the house or washing the dishes.

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Wear slippers or comfortable shoes in the house.

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Contact your doctor/nurse if you have a question, or as soon as skin reactions appear/get worse. It is very important that these are treated immediately.

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Keep a record of the reactions as they appear and how you manage them. This can then be shown to the doctor/nurse during the visit. An example of a diary can be found here.

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DON’Ts

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Don’t stop your cancer treatment without first speaking to your doctor/nurse. Most skin reactions can be successfully treated without changing the dose or stopping treatment.

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Don’t push back cuticles or bite your fingernails. Artificial nails should not be worn.

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Don’t use harsh laundry detergents or work in the house or garden without gloves.

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Don’t wear tight shoes.

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Don’t stay in direct sunlight for long periods of time.

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Don’t use skin products containing alcohol, perfumes or dyes.

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Don’t use skin-peeling products or concealer.

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