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Chemotherapy and Your Nails: How to Care For Them

By HERWriter
 
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Skin, Hair & Nails related image Photo: Getty Images

5. Avoid biting nails: Biting nails risks making them ragged and more easily torn. Trim nails carefully using a nail clipper or special scissor.

According to about.com, another consideration that may protect your nails during chemotherapy is the use of cold therapy. “By keeping the nail areas colder than the rest of the body, the chemotherapy drugs do not reach the nails as easily and will not cause as much cell damage.” Studies were performed using a special frozen glove but some people have used other sources of cooling ice packs during their chemotherapy sessions.

Once chemotherapy has ended, nail growth should return as it was before. Fingernails grow one tenth of an inch a month so those weakened damaged areas will be replaced by healthier stronger nails within about six months.

Sources:

Chemotherapy and Your Nails
http://www.breastcancer.org/tips/hair_skin_nails/nails.jsp

Nail changes during chemo?
http://www.breastcancer.org/treatment/planning/ask_expert/2001_08/question_13.jsp

Chemotherapy and Your Nails
http://cancer.about.com/od/chemotherapysideeffects/a/nailcare.htm

Fingernail Disorders During Breast Cancer Chemotherapy
http://breastcancer.about.com/od/lifeduringtreatment/tp/fingernail_disorders.htm

Edited by Alison Stanton

Michele is an R.N. freelance writer with a special interest in woman’s health care and quality of care issues. Other articles by Michele are at www.helium.com/users/487540/show_articles

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.