SUPPLEMENT INDIVIDUAL ARTICLE: Skincare for Cancer Patients in Scandinavia

December 2021 | Volume 20 | Issue 12 | Supplement Individual Articles | ss4 | Copyright © December 2021

Published online November 30, 2021

Ada Girnita MD PhD,a Henrik F. Lorentzen MD,b Sampsa Kauppi MD,c Charles W. Lynde MD FRCPC,d Maxwell B. Sauder MD FRCPC DABD,e Henrik Schmidt MD,f Anneke Andriessen PhD,g Andreas Stensvold MD PhDh

aSkin Cancer Center Karolinska University Hospital Stockholm, Sweden
bDepartment of Dermatology and Venerology Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark
cPrivate practice, Terveystalo and Epilaser Oy, Finland
dDepartment of Medicine University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada; Lynderm Research, Markham, ON, Canada
ePrincess Margaret Cancer Centre; Pigmented Lesion Clinic, Toronto Dermatology Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada
fDepartment of Oncology, Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark
gRadboud UMC, Nijmegen and Andriessen Consultants, Malden, The Netherlands
hOncology Department Oestfold Hospital, Norway

Frequently patients are concerned about toxic effects on the skin of skincare used during radiation therapy. However, skincare does not interfere with or increase the radiation dose to the skin and can be used in moderation before daily radiation treatments.40,41 Patients will benefit from a skincare regimen that can be applied daily and liberally without restrictions, reducing patient confusion and anxiety.40,41

Patients undergoing radiation treatment for breast cancer may safely use antiperspirants, although inconsistencies exist across radiation treatment centers globally about the practice and recommendations.42-44

Sun Protection Measures
Patients should avoid intentional ultraviolet (UV) exposure for tanning and unintentional, intense direct exposure to the sun. Educate patients to use UV protection through clothing, a wide-brimmed hat, UV ray-filtering sunglasses, shade structures, and t-shirts (preferably darker-coloured clothing of tightly-woven material).10,12

Broad-spectrum high SPF sunscreens are part of a complete program for sun protection, including protective clothing, sunglasses, and sun avoidance.10,12,35 Sunscreens can be classified as UVB and UVA filters or physical blockers.43 Broad-spectrum sunscreen and physical blockers protect against both UVA and UVB light.44 Employ supplementary use of sunscreens in areas of the body that is not protected by clothing.10,12,35

Sunscreen should have a high SPF and provide equal protection from UVA and UVB rays.44 They are effective immediately after application to the skin; however, the dose normally used is much lower than necessary to achieve the stated SPF. Therefore, apply sunscreen with an SPF of over 30 once in the morning and a second time immediately before