Sign in

Hyperpigmentation: A Key Side Effect of Chemotherapy

Jennifer Linder, MD June 2013 issue of Skin Inc. magazine
Chemotherapy treatment

The patient's skin looks visibly healthier in regular light after two months of a chemotherapy and radiation therapy support treatment. There is also a substantial lightening of underlying hyperpigmentation seen in the UV photography.

Get the Skinny! This is just part of the article. Want the complete story, plus a host of other cutting-edge articles to make your job easier? Sign up!

The American Cancer Society defines cancer as “…a group of diseases characterized by uncontrolled growth and spread of abnormal cells. If the spread is not controlled, it can result in death.” According to the National Cancer Institute, of the 1,638,910 new cancer diagnoses that were predicted for 2012, 577,190 of those diagnosed were not expected to survive. Although that is 1,500 deaths per day from some type of cancer, that number is likely lower than it could be due to targeted treatment plans administered by many highly skilled physicians and other medical professionals. One common component of any cancer treatment plan is chemotherapy. Although highly effective at treating many cancers, it does have myriad negative side effects.

A side effect that is quite common, but not generally discussed, is cutaneous hyperpigmentation. Once patients have successfully completed their cancer treatments, helping them to reclaim healthy skin can be a great emotional support. By understanding the potential causes of hyperpigmentation as related to chemotherapy, you can help your patients look and feel healthy and beautiful by suppressing it during chemotherapy and addressing it after treatment is completed.

Chemotherapy: A primer

To break down this complicated topic to its basics does not do the science and effort behind drug development justice; however, because the topic of this article is hyperpigmentation and not chemotherapy, providing a basic understanding of what these drugs do in the body is useful and relevant to the skin care professional.

Want the rest of the story? Simply sign up. It’s easy. Plus, it only takes 1 minute and it’s free!

Related Content



Welcome to the new!

Delivering the best information on the spa, skin care and wellness industry is our passion, and we’ve worked hard to design a powerful new website that incorporates cutting-edge technology to bring you:

  • Mobile-friendly Design
  • Integrated Sample Request
  • Refreshed Look and Feel
  • Dynamic Content
  • Free Registration

Mobile-friendly Design

Providing a unified experience from mobile to desktop, responsive design allows you to access Skin Inc. content from any device, whether you’re in the treatment room, at home or on the go!

Integrated Sample Request

Visit Featured Product pages to quickly and easily identify new suppliers and request product samples and information.

Dynamic Content

Articles are now linked with relevant products so you can find the products and treatments you need to provide the best results for your clients.

Free Registration

Create your user account to gain unlimited access to Skin Inc.’s unparalleled content.

Enjoy the New!

Thank you for joining the Skin Inc. community of passionate skin care professionals. We look forward to providing you the best information to enhance your career!