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Chemotherapy And Radiation: How Can I Maintain Strong, Healthy Nails During Treatment?

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Isabel Calleros explains how you can maintain strong, healthy nails during chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

Isabel Calleros:
All right, we talked about before your nails so now let’s go into maintaining the integrity of your nails, all right?

Couple of changes you are going to find in your nail bed when you are going through chemotherapy or radiation. One, you are going to find that your nails are going to become very brittle, okay? They are going to crack easy.

You are going to find that they are going to chip and peel easier. These are natural things that are going to happen during this time.

You are also going to probably see little lines that go through your nail bed, pigmented lines or demarcation lines. That is due to the chemotherapy and radiation treatment.

It’s almost like stunt growths on your nails, okay? That’s very natural. It will go away after you stop the chemotherapy and the radiation, okay?

So those are two most common things. The third thing is you are going to find that your cuticle around the nail bed is going to be very, very dry and you are going to have a tendency to want to pick it off, you are going to have a tendency to want to bite it off, definitely do not do that.

We carry so much bacteria in our mouth that we don’t want to create an infection or an additional problem to what we are going through already, okay?

So how do I do it during chemotherapy? Well, on the clip that you are going to see afterwards you are going to see your self-home manicure and this is something that you can do very easily at home.

Do it once a week again, you can go to your manicurist but if you do, or your nail technician, if you do then make sure you let her know that you are on chemotherapy and/or radiation.

You do not want to clip your cuticles. You do not want to clip them and the reason is because if you do draw any blood that’s, you are prone or susceptible to infection.

So what you are going to do is you are just going to use a wooden nail pusher and you can find it at any beauty supply, just ask the girl at the counter and you are going to use cuticle remover or cuticle softener and you are just going to push it back.

So make sure you tell your manicurist that or your nail technician and they will know exactly what to do and if they don’t tell them, tell them what to do. They may not know but at least you are informed of what you shouldn’t be doing.

Now let’s talk about the integrity of the nail and how we keep it. Sometimes the nail bed will loosen up; sometimes the nail bed will fall off, okay?

If you keep doing your gelatin dips the nails will maintain their integrity and they will stay strong and you are going to avoid 99 percent of the complication of the nail bed falling off, okay?

So keep that in mind. Do your nail dips and I always recommend to do them at least once a week during chemotherapy or radiation, okay?

About Isabel Calleros:
Isabel Calleros has dedicated over 30 years to education in aesthetics and permanent makeup for both cosmetic and breast repigmentation for breast cancer recovery. As a voice for the breast cancer survivor, Mrs. Calleros wants to provide each and every woman the opportunity to know and understand their choices as they regain their femininity, womanhood and self beauty.

Isabel is a facilitator for the Look Good…Feel Better program through the American Cancer Society. She has volunteered her time at the Arizona Cancer Center in Tucson, Arizona, through the Women’s Cancer Support Group, along with participating on in the 2009 Breast Cancer Wellness Cruise for breast cancer survivors.

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