Appearance Consultation Tips for nail care
Sometimes nails and nail beds are affected by chemotherapy drugs, although side effects are usually mild. Some changes in the nails that patients may experience include:
- change in growth rate
- heightened sensitivity
- lifting of the nail from the nail bed (if this is experienced by the patient, the nails should be kept short during treatment)
Nail Care Do’s and Don’ts
Temporary nail troubles can be offset by following a few manicuring or pedicuring tips and avoiding some nail care practices. Always alert your physician if you notice any signs of inflammation or infection. Generally, pedicures and manicures are discouraged while a person is undergoing treatment.
- Don’t cut the cuticle; use a cuticle remover instead.
- Don’t try to file off the brown or black spots that may appear on the nails during chemotherapy. The discoloration will almost certainly disappear after treatment has ended.
- Don’t cover nails with glue-on nails or any other acrylic or gel sculptures during chemotherapy or radiation treatment. Avoid all other conditions that might increase fungal, bacterial or viral exposure.
- Avoid nail polish removers that contain large amounts of acetone which is drying. Very dry nails become weaker or more brittle during treatment, so use an oily polish remover that contains protein hydrolysate.
- Buff the nail plate lightly to remove ridges.
- Wear gloves while doing household chores such as washing dishes. Exposing fingers to excessive moisture from any source can lead to fungal infections of the nail bed.
- Massage cuticle cream into the cuticle area to prevent dryness, splitting and hangnails.
- Use clear nail polish to keep nails strong and protected from the environment.