Skin and Nail Care

Illness and the effects of certain treatments often make visible changes to one’s physique. Chemotherapy may make your skin and nails fragile. 
Such side-effects can affect your morale and your well-being.

Skin care

During the anti-cancer treatment your skin will become more fragile, drier and more sensitive to sunlight and to strong lighting.

  • Protect your skin by applying a moisturizing cream each day. Your care team will advise you what product to choose.
  • As far as possible avoid exposure to the sun. Use a sun cream with a high sun protection factor even if you stay in the shade. Apply it 30 minutes before going out.
  • Before you apply a cream, get into the way of testing it on a small area of your skin. Then wait 24 hours to assess any reactions.
  • Modify your usual make-up, choosing warm tones. You will look better.

The sun’s rays include UVA and UVB. The figure appearing on the tube of cream – the SPF or sun protection factor – only indicates the protection provided against UVB. For total sun protection, choose a cream marked ‘broad spectrum’ or indicating UVA + UVB.  Quality products at low prices do exist. An SPF of 30 stops 97% of the UVB rays; for total protection go for SPF 50. Choose a formula that suits you, as you are advised to re-apply it frequently.

Nail care

  • In some cases your nails change their characteristics. They can become discoloured or brittle or split or break. Report any infection, mycosis or any little wounds especially around the nail.
  • Use a nail polish remover without acetone.
  • Moisturise the skin surrounding your nails daily.
  • Nail hardening products should be applied with care, from the middle of the nail to the extremity, without covering the half-moon, particularly if your nails are splitting.

Once a month at the HUG, make-up workshops for women are organized by the Foundation Look Good Feel Better
Information on (DE)

The Association Bonne mine, bon moral [Appearance good, morale good too] offers facial care and esthetic advice for men and women.  
Information on (FR)

+ N.B.
The Ligue Suisse contre le cancer brochure
Soigner son apparence durant et après la thérapie [Taking care of your appearance during and after therapy]

Download the sheet Skin and nail care


Last update : 08/02/2019