Sometimes nails and nail beds are affected by chemotherapy drugs although the side effects are usually mild. Some temporary changes in your nails that you may experience include:
- Brittleness, grooving or discolouration.
- A change in growth rate.
- Heightened sensitivity
- Lifting of the nail from the nail bed (if you experience this, keep your nails short during treatment).
Nail Care Dos and Don’ts
- Most Important: Don’t cut your cuticles. Use cuticle removers instead.
- Use Cuticle cream, massaging it into the cuticle area to prevent dryness, splitting and hangnails.
- Avoid exposing your fingers to excessive amounts of moisture because this can lead to fungal infections of the nail bed. It may be a good idea to wear gloves when washing dishes, etc.
- Wearing nail polish may help to keep your nails strong and protect them from the environment.
- Very dry nails can become weaker or more brittle during treatment.
- When removing polish, use an oily type of remover.
- If you’re undergoing chemotherapy, avoid glue-on, porcelain or any type of artificial finger nails.
- Always discuss any signs of inflammation or infection with your doctor.