The colour PINK has become the norm October every single year! The colour and pink ribbon which has become synonymous with Breast Cancer is now a symbol of hope, support and camaraderie.
Who would have thought that when Charlotte Hayley introduced the concept of a peach ribbon that her collaboration with Evelyn Lauder and Alexander Penney would give birth to the pink ribbon and that Susan G Komen handing out bright pink visors to breast cancer survivors in the late 90’s would all establish this symbol for breast cancer awareness that we have all come to champion.
No matter where you are on this planet, we all know, recognise and understand the meaning of that PINK RIBBON and when October arrives, we do what is needed in our own way, no matter how small, we impact, we move!
For Breast cancer, one may have to undergo, surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy – one after the other in some cases and in some cases may have to undergo hormonal targeted therapy, depending on the type of Breast cancer and the stage.
What is not often talked about, is the impact of cancer on the skin! From surgery to chemotherapy to radiotherapy, the impact on the skin is undeniable.
Surgery: Where there is a surgical wound the skin has to recover and there may be tightness and possible scarring. Once one starts to recover, there may be the need to undergo chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy.
Chemotherapy: Some chemotherapy treatments impact nails - they stop growing, hair loss is experienced due to the impact of the treatment affecting hair follicles. The skin gets friable and delicate because the turnover of skin cells is slowed right down generating a lot of excess dry skin. Chemotherapy causes dryness, peeling and itchy skin plus skin becomes more sensitive to sunlight and heat with risk of sunburn higher. Chemotherapy also affects the skins natural moisture by reducing the natural oils your body produces which creates the need for heavier moisturisers that heal, nourish and feed the skin at a cellular level.
Radiotherapy: Skin problems such as dryness, itching, blistering and or peeling are common side effects of radiotherapy. Radiation can also make one’s skin look like its sun burned or can become swollen, puffy, or lead to sores with the possibility of infection. Some individuals experience irritation and darkness of the skin around your breasts, and some have increased risk of developing skin cancer in the future.
The psychological impact of surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy cannot be underestimated. From the loss of self-esteem to depression and lower sex drive, cancer treatment although lifesaving can leave us with multiple internal as well as external scars.
Cancer & Skincare:
Going through surgery is tough, chemotherapy is rough, and radiotherapy is bad enough! With each of these increasing skin sensitivities and photosensitive, the last thing one needs to add yet more chemicals on the skin.
There are of course some practical things one can do:
- Avoid hot showers
- Don’t use harsh soaps
- Avoid fragrances (synthetic ones)
- Gently exfoliate
- Moisturise, Moisturise, Moisturise
- Don’t use alcohol-based products – they dry out the skin even more
Breast Cancer UK advises to “choose cosmetics free of harmful chemicals” and their #DitchTheJunk campaign encouraged us all to know what we are putting on our bodies!
Healing through the power of nature, Naturally Tribal products were developed with troubled skin in mind:
- Products that provide maximum hydration and moisture
- Products that have natural UV protection
- Products that facilitate skin regeneration, packed with Vitamin C, packed with antioxidants, Vitamin A, D & E, omega 3,
- Products that improve skin elasticity, reduces pigmentation, help scars and feed dry skin
- Products with anti-inflammatory and wound healing properties
All these interventions geared towards treating any type of cancer, have an impact on the rest of your body. Our skin is everywhere on our body, it is the largest organ and is impacted in a large way, with any impact obvious – let nature help take away one worry!