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Cancer and Skin Changes: Acnelike Rash

By: Patricia Ringos Beach and Katie Morgan-Lousky
Posted: May 30, 2014, from the June 2014 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
Cancer and Skin Changes: Acnelike Rash

Steve was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer, and was receiving chemotherapy and targeted therapy, and his treatment plan was designed to stop the cancer’s progression. He was experiencing an acnelike rash on his face due to the drugs he was receiving to treat his cancer.

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Treatment. For Steve’s skin care service, the two priorities were relieving dehydration and treating the rash. (See Steve's Story.) When working with clients with cancer, Morgan-Lousky urges: “Try thinking differently. Remember the skin is a reflection that mirrors inner health.” Being the largest organ, it suffers damage during treatment. Cell renewal, adequate circulation, proper nutrition, sleep, hydration and water intake must all be balanced for healthy skin.

The skin has an almost endless absorption capability. An organic product line with vitamins and antioxidants to supplement the skin’s nutrition capitalizes on this capability. The enzymes and exfoliants used should be mild. Massage should be used to stimulate blood flow and remove toxins. Straight antioxidants, such as teas, should be incorporated in revitalizing the skin.

Because glycolic peels would be too harsh for this type of client, lactic acid can help obtain results that would minimize inflammation that causes folliculitis and clogged pores.

Steve’s treatment plan consisted of:

  • Lactic acid treatment;
  • Application of cucumber and tea tree oil followed by sweet almond milk mixed with yogurt;
  • High-frequency treatment; and
  • Finishing serums and moisturizers to support skin renewal.

Evaluation and ongoing care

Steve’s skin looked and felt refreshed after his time at Ahava. Dehydration is a significant problem for those being treated for cancer both during and after treatment. Skin treatments must include home-care recommendations to gently replenish lost fluids.

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