Dr. Cynthia Bailey is a dermatologist, BRCA 1 carrier, and triple-negative breast cancer survivor. As a doctor specializing in the treatment of skin conditions, her fight against cancer has given her a new understanding of the importance of skincare during chemotherapy and beyond.
Although they’re necessary and life-saving for most women, cancer treatments can also cause aggressive skin damage. Chemotherapy slows skin cell regeneration, making the skin’s healing process longer and more arduous.
However, chemo isn’t the only culprit when it comes to changes in the skin during cancer.
“Breast cancer patients who are thrown into menopause, either because of hormone-blocking treatments or removal of their ovaries, will face menopausal skin changes,” Dr. Bailey explains.
In fact, the skin undergoes four major changes during menopause:
- Diminished cell renewal
- Loss of collagen
- Loss of hyaluronic acid
- Greater oxidative stress (which damages skin structures like cells, collagen, and elastin)
Because she understood that a good skin care regimen is an important preventative measure against skin damage and that the skincare needs of cancer patients are unique, Dr. Bailey was determined to find the best products to ease the effects of forced menopause, chemotherapy, and other treatments on the skin.
While there were a few time-honored favorites that delivered results, Dr. Bailey realized there weren’t many skincare products designed for the specific needs of cancer patients. So, she decided to create her own skincare line that would serve the needs of the community she was now a part of. That’s when Dr. Cynthia Bailey Skin Care was born.
What started as a passion project has now become her mission “to educate and empower people to make good choices with their skincare. To relieve their frustration and suffering by providing them with dermatologist-level information and results-oriented, professional, hypoallergenic products.”.
Helping her patients understand and solve their long-standing, stubborn skin problems is, as she explains it, “…deeply satisfying…I wanted to bring this [information] to more people. With the advent of the internet, I could. I’ve been able to help and relieve the suffering of people who live far away. Every day my team and I hear the most heartwarming stories…this is why I created DrBaileySkinCare.com.”
As the author of one of the longest-running skincare blogs, Dr. Bailey offers her readers professional and practical advice on self-care and skin health.
She advises that cancer patients undergoing treatment can expect their skin to be drier and more fragile during treatment. Chemo, radiation, and surgery make the skin ultra-sensitive. Dr. Bailey suggests using rich, hypoallergenic products to avoid allergies or causing irritation.
As far as a regular skincare regimen, patients should only use gentle hypoallergenic cleansers and then follow up with a deeply hydrating moisturizer every day throughout treatment as dry skin can lead to eczema and chapping.
Certain chemo meds can cause blisters on the hands and feet blisters as well and since skin cell regeneration will take longer, these skin wounds need special care to prevent infection. Dr. Bailey suggests keeping a prescription antibiotic ointment handy to treat any wound immediately.
While the myriad of physical and emotional changes women with cancer experience can be overwhelming, Dr. Bailey assures her patients there’s no need to be discouraged by skin changes during chemo. Knowing first hand how it goes, she explains, “skin is resilient and after chemotherapy is over, it typically bounces back to normal over time.”
To read Dr. Bailey’s skin health and wellness blog or learn more about her best selling Chemotherapy Skincare Kit, visit drbaileyskincare.com. You can also check out her my facebook video on breast cancer at https://bit.ly/343GzvN