“Nail changes occur more often in patients receiving targeted therapies and certain chemotherapy drugs such as paclitaxel and docetaxel. These changes are typically cosmetic, meaning the texture or color of the nails is affected, but some patients do experience pain and discomfort in their nails. While prevention is difficult, there are simple steps you can take to manage nail changes.” – source: mskcc.org
Many cancer organizations share their tips on how to protect your nails during chemo. We’ve curated a list of all the best tips. Oh, and you can submit your tips or add comments to tips submitted by others.
"Keep your nails clean and cut short to avoid accidentally tearing them. Protect your hands and nails by wearing gloves when you wash the dishes, or clean the house, for example. Avoid getting manicures and pedicures. Don’t wear tight-fitting shoes. Ask your nurse to recommend products that can be used to treat nail problems." - source: cancer.gov
"Your healthcare team can suggest ways to manage changes to fingernails and toenails. Ask them about using over-the-counter nail-strengthening products. They will also tell you how to care for cracks in the skin around the nails with padding or a liquid bandage." - source: cancer.ca
"Cooling gloves - You may be able to protect your nails by wearing special cooling gloves and socks during the infusion of chemotherapy." - source: cancerconnect.com
"Ask your doctor or nurse if you can place cold packs on your hands and feet while you’re getting chemotherapy. If you can, start using them 15 minutes before each chemotherapy infusion starts and keep them on until 15 minutes after the infusion is finished."
"For more information, ask your nurse for the resource called Nail Cooling During Treatment with Taxane-based Chemotherapy" - source: mskcc.org
"Dry nails can become weaker or more brittle during chemotherapy treatment. To take off polish, use a remover that doesn't contain acetone, ethylacetate, or other harsh solvents. There are gentle removers specifically for water-based nail polish." - source: breastcancer.org
"If your nails break or lift off try to keep them clean and protected. Covering the nail with a band-aid can protect it from trauma. Clean with soap and warm water and apply an antibiotic ointment twice a day." - source: oncolink.org
"If your nails are split, use a topical antiseptic cream, such as Savlon, to reduce the risk of infection." - source: bcna.org.au
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