Summer is a time when everyone wants to be outside enjoying the sunshine, the beach, the pool, or any outdoor activity. While undergoing chemotherapy there are a few precautions you should take to keep safe and healthy from the sun’s harmful rays.
Here are some helpful tips to get you through the summer:
• Try to limit your sun exposure between 10:00 am and 3:00 pm, which is when the sun’s rays are strongest.
• Use sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher and reapply it often, especially after sweating or swimming. It is also a good idea to ask a doctor to recommend a sunscreen for sensitive skin if your skin is irritated anywhere from radiation therapy.
• Dress for sun protection, and bring portable shade such as an umbrella if possible.
• Protect your head. If you’ve lost your hair due to chemo, wear a hat, scarf, or wig cover up.
• If you have undergone radiation, know the boundaries of where you were exposed. This area will be the most sensitive to sunburn, especially during the first year after treatment.
• Keep any surgical scars covered from the sun. “Surgical scars may be especially sensitive to sun damage,” says Dr. Naughton. If you can’t keep them covered by clothes (or a hat), apply sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, generously and frequently.
Information is from the NCCN website. You can visit it at www.nccn.org for more information or contact your doctor here at Charleston Hematology and Oncology Associates for any further questions as well.