Thursday, October 20, 2011

Cancer Treatment and Skincare and Makeup

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is the month to remind us to keep ourselves checked out and do our annual mammograms as determined by our age, medical history, and heritage.

But it is also about celebrating women who have fought the good fight and survived their disease. Breast Cancer Awareness is the best for keeping women, young and old, in the loop with the latest technologies and cure rates when breast cancer is found early.....and a mammogram will do that in the vast majority of cases.

My Poor Skin

Believe it or not, there are things we can do to keep our skin looking radiant and healthy. As many of us know, along with treatment of cancer, which in most cases does involve radiation or chemotherapy, and in some instances, both, comes with some of the less than desirable side effects. Typical issues are hair loss, dry, flaky skin, discolorations of the skin, brittle nails, and sometimes skin that becomes hyper-sensitive to touch or anything we apply to it or wear against it..... Yes, going through cancer treatment is never easy, yet some of us will and / or have reacted differently to various treatments. Our bodies can look and feel depleted, and how we feel on the inside can be reflected on the outside, which in turn can take a toll on us emotionally as well.

Even eyebrows and eyelashes can be lost for the duration of the treatment. Just remember though, it is only temporary and they will all grow back. Our skin of course, needs tender loving care also.

Getting Into A Routine

Now is not the time to begin changing your regimen if what you have been using has worked thus far. However, you may wish to search for more gentle products if you have, let's say, been using liquid makeups or a skincare that utilized AHA's, Retinols, or BHA's. These can all be potentially irritating with the many synthetic chemicals involved. Maybe now is the time to go simple and even research the possibility of finally trying out mineral makeup. The last thing skin needs, is any harsh products being used. What may have once been just fine in the past, may now be like throwing gasoline on your skin as it reacts and changes with the treatments.

Stick with simple skincare that offers gentle cleansers, primarily cream cleansers and avoid those that lather, no matter how gentle they may be. A creamy cleanser will keep the skin soft without stripping or drying it out....and then of course a very good facial cream for moisture enhancement.

Get rid of old makeup, dirty hairbrushes, used sponges, and skin care products past their shelf date. During cancer treatment, the skin is especially fragile at this time because it cannot regenerate itself in a normal way.

Other good ideas are to go fragrance free, such as anything heavily scented that touches you now has the potential to irritate your skin, including your favorite perfume, toilet paper, facial tissue, scented laundry soap, dryer sheets and fabric softener. Cutting these out of your life for a time is not a big sacrifice.

Use a humidifier, particularly in the bedroom while you sleep. It's an excellent idea because it adds moisture to the skin and the hair. But then, I have always touted the use of a humidifier regardless, especially in winter for those that live in cold, dry climates.

Wear gloves.... hands are one of the most vulnerable parts of the body to experience dryness, cracking and fissures because they're constantly placed under adverse conditions. Wear clean, dry, long, waterproof gloves for all wet household chores and thin white cotton gloves for dry household chores.

So by maintaining a regular daily skin care regimen, you will possess a sense of well-being while maintaining excellent skin health. By caring for you skin in preparation of a cancer treatment and the followup for the weeks to come, your skin will be stronger and better able to withstand the assaults of your cancer treatment. The goal is to keep your skin as healthy as possible so that you can continue with your treatment.

Quick Fixes For The Cosmetic Corrections

During the trying time of a cancer treatment, we may look at ourselves in the mirror and wonder how we can right what is going terribly wrong with our skin and face.

As I mentioned above, hair loss can be inevitable for some, and for others they will not drop a strand of hair from their heads. But for those of us that may suffer the painful pangs of eyebrows and eyelashes disappearing, along with our manes of hair from our heads, there are of course great tricks to mask this dilemma, so we can return to some semblance of a normal routine.

Even being bald as a bean, each and every one of us are still beautiful and all the more for what we can teach others through the celebration of living our lives to the fullest. Of course, a touch of makeup helps make the process a little bit easier, giving a brightness to our complexion, hence being a mood elevator.... when we look good we are able to feel good....or better at the very least.

Several Tips: For missing eyebrows and eyelashes, you can use a makeup pencil to fill in the brows, but remember to never go darker than the original color they were. If you are also wearing a wig, then by all means keep the color only a tad darker than the wig color.

For redness of the skin that can occur, then mineral makeup would be a good choice. Our mineral makeup for instance, is not only very gentle, but will cover well, soothe irritation and reduce redness with beautiful undertones that do an excellent job of color correcting. Plus you don't need to utilize a dozen products to accomplish what a single jar of mineral makeup foundation will do for the complexion.

For those wanting to restore the look of eyelashes until they grow back, a brownish black eye liner or pencil works great for this. Simply apply tiny dots, on the natural lash line and it will give the illusion of eyelashes, yet will still appear quite natural to the eye.

A Great Resource For Women With Cancer

The American Cancer Society offers free seminars to women afflicted with cancer and it is defined by wishing to help women Look Good and Feel Better program. It is a national service, so a quick phone call to their toll free number will direct you to the closest workshop near you.

Many volunteer beauty professionals offer their services to women needing help to reorganize their routine and keep themselves looking good, so they will feel better about themselves and be able to persevere through their cancer treatment. Maintaining one's self esteem can do wonders for keeping a positive mindset during the fight for life.

You may also get involved in one of the workshops offered by ACS, along with self help materials being offered to help women soldier on and be the best they can be during this challenging time.

Breast cancer can be cured when detected early and the stats are showing new technology is also preserving breast tissue while eradicating the cancer. Radical mastectomies are no longer the norm when caught early. At least not like they were in my younger days. This was also what generated so much fear of discovering a lump. Women feared the worst, and identified the diagnosis as losing part of their sexuality, feeling somehow they would then become less of a woman with the loss of a breast(s) This no longer need be the case. In fact, the option of lumpectomies are becoming far more popular with many oncologists today with excellent success for the cure.

Take care and make sure you get your annual mammogram, and always do breast self exams each month in the shower. As the old saying goes, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

I personally have found this method the easiest to do and the best way to find tiny bumps or bulges that may seem odd at the time, but in 9 times out of 10, are normal changes to our bodies. Not all bumps mean cancer....please remember that. Because nothing can allow a cancer to spread faster, than a fear of finding something, that may absolutely turn out to be nothing at all.

Now to follow my own advice and set my appointment today!

Cheers Ladies and God Bless, and remember to share stories of our weaknesses, strengths, challenges some of us may face and the transformation of a desire to set new goals. Our futures are what we make of them.....don't waste a moment of it because life is loved!

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