Do Something

23 Oct

Pink Ink…

Day 2 of Chemo Beauty Week!

There is nothing worse than a person who has raggedy nails!  Ok, not really.  But who doesn’t want their hands and feet to look nice?  Even before I started chemo, I struggled to keep a nice manicure.  I blame 15 years of piano lessons! Over the years I have learned to tolerate my short nails, but I make sure my toes are always done.  Always!  So imagine my chagrin when my nails were destroyed by chemo.

Nails are attacked by chemo in the same way that hair is attacked.  It’s the destruction of the cells!  So nails dry out. They become discolored, or black. They become ridged or can even fall off!  They even become a nesting place for bacteria! So what do to do?

Tip #2 Take care of your nails!

This is the time to pay particular attention to your nails.

  • Keep your hands CLEAN!
  • Cut your nails short.
  • Moisturize your nail bed to prevent drying or peeling of your cuticle. BUT…
  • DON’T cut your cuticles!  Use cuticle cream to GENTLY push back the nail.
  • Bring your own tools to the salon!  This is a must!
  • Forgo the callous remover! The skin is too sensitive, dry and thin! Try lathering up in lotion or vaseline,  and sleeping in socks.
  • Say NO to acetone polish remover! It also dries out the nail ad makes them brittle.
  • Time to say goodbye to the acrylic nails or gel nails!  They are a breeding ground for bacteria.
  • Wear gloves while doing chores or washing dishes.

The good news is that you can still wear polish! In fact, try to keep your nails polished because it can help make them stronger and protect the nails from splitting and germs. 

I preferred darker polishes as my toe nails got darker.  I kept my hand nails simple with just a pale pink.  Fortunately they didn’t get too dark, just covered with lines and deep ridges.  By the way, it can take months after chemo to grow out the darker pigmentation and ridges.  I ‘m still at it six months later!

If you get nauseous and are worried about the smells of a salon, ask a friend to come do your nails!  So many people say they “don’t know what to do” for someone who’s getting chemo.  Well here’s your answer!

At the end of the day, getting a manicure or pedicure may seem frivolous or too much work when you are fighting for your life!  That’s ok.  I never felt that way.  It helped me feel “normal”.  It helped me feel pretty.  I saw women who had designs on their nails, and others who just wore clear.  Going through chemo is tough, so it’s up to you to decide what makes you feel good.

Just remember to…do something!

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