Side Effects of Targeted Cancer Therapy Drugs
Changes in hair or skin color: Some targeted drugs can turn the skin or hair a yellowish color during treatment. In a few people, hair and/or skin gets darker. This tends to go away once treatment ends.
Changes in and around the eyes: The eyes may burn, and become dry or red. In some people, the eyelids get red, tender, and swollen, and the lashes may become crusty. Sometimes the eyelids may turn inward or outward. Distorted eyelids or prolonged dryness can damage the outer part of the eye (the cornea). Talk with your doctor or nurse about managing these changes to avoid injury, pain, or infection.
Can skin changes be prevented?
There are things you can do to help prevent skin changes or at least try to keep them under control. Your doctor may ask you to start doing these things as soon as targeted treatment starts – before you have skin problems.
Starting good skin care before you have side effects may help to minimize the problems You may be asked to:
- Use very mild soaps, body washes, and shampoos that do not contain alcohol, perfume, or dye.
- Take baths instead of showers, and try oatmeal bath products to soothe your skin.
- Bathe with cool or lukewarm (instead of hot) water. And avoid hot, humid places.
- Moisturize your skin at least twice a day with a thick emollient cream that has no alcohol, perfumes, or dyes. The best time to do this is right after you bathe, while your skin is still damp.
- Wear loose, soft clothing.
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