Fingernail Care After Breast Cancer
Breast cancer surgery and treatment can do terrible wonders to our bodies. In addition to dealing with the loss of one or both breasts, breast cancer takes a lot out of you and you have to step up your beauty game to get back to your normal self. This series is about how to be and feel beautiful after breast cancer.
A part of my body was removed. Followed by a life-threatening infection. The antibiotics changed my skin. Extremely dry skin. Hormone therapy drained me. Always tired. Feel like the walking dead. So tired of feeling tired. Unable to pull myself together. What can a girl do?
No more Swedish massages; my ‘new’ boob feels like a rock so no more lying on my stomach. I’m too tired to go out for a glass of wine with my friends-my yawns are uncontrollable these days.
What can I do to lift my spirits?
I choose nail therapy. The nail salon is where you’ll find me. Every two weeks like clockwork. After breast cancer surgery and treatment, my nails became dark, dry and very brittle. So I treat myself to beautiful nails. A simple gel manicure. I can close my eyes, nod off and walk out with beautiful nails.
My nails are a distraction from the dark circles under my eyes because I can’t sleep. My nails are a distraction from feeling low at work because I can’t think on my feet as fast as I used to. My nails are a distraction from the nagging reminders around me that I am a breast cancer survivor. My nails are a distraction from my ‘new norm’.
How to Save Your Nails During Chemotherapy
Breast cancer chemotherapy treatment can be as hard on your fingernails as it is on your hair. Some of you may become discouraged because you don’t know how to save your nails during chemotherapy. As a Black woman, saving your nails might take more work, especially if they change colors. Unfortunately, women of color are very likely to have black, blue or green fingernails during chemotherapy treatment.
Another problem with nails during chemotherapy treatment is that your fingernails may become brittle and lift from your nail bed which can cause you to lose your entire fingernail.
Your cuticles can also become extremely dry, leading to skin breaks and hang nails. If you’ve had any lymph nodes removed during your breast cancer surgery or if you had radiation treatment, it is important that you prevent infections on the surgical side of your body to avoid lymphedema. Unattended hangnails and cuts on your fingers can lead to infections so you want to take care of your nails during chemo treatment as best as you can.
Five Top Breast Cancer Nail Care Tips:
- Keep your hands clean and moisturized.
- Use rubber gloves when you wash the dishes. Having your hands in water for long periods of time can cause nail fungus.
- Apply cuticle oil or cream to keep your cuticles healthy and reduce hang nails.
- Use good lighting when trimming your nails and cuticles to avoid cutting yourself. Even a small nick can lead to infection.
- If you prefer to go to a nail salon, make sure that they use sanitary practices and take your own nail care tools .
Check out these breast cancer awareness nail designs. Ladies, do you have any advice on how to keep our nails in check during chemo? Please share with us!