Hand - foot syndrome and chemotherapy
|Home | Nail care | Lip care | Lifestyle after chemo | Contact us||
Hand foot syndrome otherwise known as Palmer-Planter erythema is a condition which can occur with some chemotherapy and biological agents. The severity of the condition depends on:
- The type of drug used
- The dose used
- How many cycles have been given
- The inherent sensitivity of the recipient
- How the hands are looked after during treatment.
There are several types and levels of severity of hand foot syndrome:
- Initially the skin can get thicker and split in the creases or around the nails.
- As the number of cycles progresses, they can start reddening, as in, then flake
- The underlying skin can becoming swollen and uncomfortable.
- On the feet, this can lead to blisters and ulceration making walking difficult, just at a time when it is advised to keep mobile.
- Secondary infection can set causing more swelling, pain and pus formation
- The nail beds can also be effected leading to infection and damage to the nails
- Asian and black patients can get considerably darker especially on the hand
- Hand foot syndrome can also be associated with a skin rash in other parts of the body or face.
The common chemotherapy drugs most commonly associated with this side effect include:
What can be done to help (self help guidelines)?
 Your doctor may reduce the dose of your medication or increase the time between the cycles - reduce dose intensity to allow your skin to recover. In most cases, reducing the dose intensity in response to hand foot syndrome should not reduce the effectiveness.
 Your doctor may prescribe some pyridoxine 50mg tablets three times a day to be take with capecitabine. Although the evidence for this is small some patients have reported this is helpful.
 Keep the skin clean especially around the nail beds but avoid strong soaps or those with artificial perfumes and colours
 Avoid friction - wear well fitting shoes, perhaps gloves at night.
 You may have to consider wearing training shoes when the skin is at its worse. Many patients often report that shoes with leather insoles are more comfortable than those made with synthetic materials.
 If the skin starts seeping pus ask your medical team to take a swab and consider antibiotics
 Keep the skin and nail beds well moisturised but avoid creams which are based on petroleum (the vast majority available over the counter) and those which contain artificial chemicals, preservatives, colours and perfumes.
 For the nails beds we recommend naturemedical nail remedy as an ideal moisturiser as it is based only on natural waxes and oils combined with essential oils which have and anti-microbial properties.
 For the rest of the skin on the hands and feet, massage liberal quantities of a natural oil which does not contain artificial chemicals which can irritate sensitive broken skin such as perfumes, colours or preserves. As with the nails and lips natureMedical products are ideal because of their completely natural, artificial chemical free philosophy. In particular, the hand-foot oil has natural salicylates which have strong anti-inflammatory properties.
Other useful links and further resources:
is cancer; About
Hormones | Biological
agents | Complementary.
Exercise | Diet |
Smoking | Sunbathing
| Alcohol. Cope
with symptoms; Traveling
| Insurance | Making
a will | Support groups
for cancer | Clinical trials. ...site
excess or a deficiency of vitamins and trace mineral can lead to an
increased risk of cancer, other illnesses and troublesome symptoms. A reliable way to ensure you have
the correct amounts is to measure
them. You will then be a to make able to make informed dietary decisions including and whether to take specific supplements
in order to restore your nutritional balance. ...read
more / order online
broad spectrum anti oxidant rich super food designed by a leading
oncologist. This supplement aims to boost your daily
antioxidant levels using only carefully selected natural wholes foods
which have been dried and concentrated for convenience ...read
more about ongoing clinical trials.
|An inspiring new lifestyle advice book, based only on the facts, empowers readers with the knowledge to help their chances of living longer and stronger ..read more / order Después de una diagnosis del cáncer, es; “Qué puede nosotros hacer para ayudarse?” La respuesta, que este libro trata, está “mucho”. order online|
|This 21 minute DVD explains chemotherapy & radiotherapy. The only preparatory film which was evaluated in a randomised study and shown to reduce anxiety and improve well-being during treatments. Available in English, Italian, Urdu, Bengali, Gujarati & Hindi ... read more / order online|
|Cracked and sore lips are common during chemotherapy and afterwards. There is evidence that natural oil based creams are better than petroleum based creams. Nature-medical lip balm contains only natural waxes and essential oils selected for their anti-inflammatory and DNA stabilizing properties.. read more..order|