How to Manage Cancer Treatment’s Effect on Fingernails

Chemotherapy often makes people think of hair loss, but it can do a number on fingernails, too. Some breast cancer patients find themselves with brittle, discolored nails, nails that lift from their fingers, or nails with small lines or indentations during treatment. Until you're feeling better, these tips will help you keep your hands and feet looking their best. Wear gloves First things first: wear gloves. Your tootsies are usually protected with socks, slippers, even shoes. But your hands get full exposure and have so many chores to do. Protect your delicate fingernails by wearing gloves. It’s especially important if you’re having lymph nodes removed as part of your breast cancer treatment. Who knows? Maybe those sweet white gloves your grandmother wore will make a comeback. Be gentle Use organic soaps and moisturizers to keep your hands clean and hydrated. Instead of clipping cuticles, try rubbing them gently with moisturizing gels. Keep it short Not only are shorter nails are more forgiving to look at if they’re showing wear and tear, but they’re also easier to keep clean. MORE: Six free things you can do right now to make breast cancer an easier experience Go natural You — or a salon professional — can buff your nails to a beautiful shine without polish. If you do go to a salon, consider bringing your own super clean supplies to prevent the spread of germs. And if you insist on polish, look for non-toxic water based products. You’ll be astounded at how many are available. And use removers that don’t contain har
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