Cancer can take a toll on our health and mental wellbeing, but we often forget how tough it is on our physical appearance, and in turn, our confidence. Cancer causes specific, and sometimes permanent, changes to patients’ appearances. Here are some of the most characteristic ways that cancer can affect how you look, and some tips to help you gain back your confidence.

How Cancer Affects Your Appearance

When we think of cancer treatment, hair loss is usually the first thing that comes to mind, but different cancer treatments can change your physical appearance in a variety of ways. For example, cancer treatments can cause extreme weight gain or weight loss, permanent skin discoloration from radiation treatment, and even the loss of body parts, Everyday Health reported.

Medical Daily recently spoke with Brianna Thompson, founder of Brianna Michelle Beauty and a beautician who has first-hand experience working with cancer patients and survivors. According to Thompson, the effects of cancer on patients can persist even after recovery because the medicine can still linger in the body long after treatment.

Read: Cervical Cancer Update 2017: Symptoms Of The New Subtype Of Female Reproductive Cancer

Thompson explained that the hallmark signs of cancer on a person's appearance are usually related to the skin, as the disease and therapies used to treat it can make the skin flaky, sallow, or discolored.

“The biggest beauty challenges are keeping the skin hydrated and the overall appearance looking healthy,” Thompson told Medical Daily in an email.

According to Macmillan, skin can become very dry or oily, sore and red after cancer treatment, and nails may become brittle, flaky, ridged or lined.

Cancer also affects your body hair. Macmillan reported that in addition to the trademark hair loss on the scalp, cancer can cause changes to your eyebrows and eyelashes, causing them to either fall out or grow especially thick.

What You Can Do

Thompson recommends facials and vitamins to address these cancer-related skin issues and help patients and survivors regain their self-confidence.

“Getting a series of good facials will quickly help provide hydration to the skin for a more healthy glow. For vitamins, I prefer Vitafusion Gorgeous, Hair, Skin and Nails gummy vites- they actually taste good and give your hair, skin and nails the daily nutrients it needs to heal.

For nail health, Macmillan suggests using nail strengthening creams, wearing nail polish to cover nail discoloration, and avoiding false nails until nail health has returned. For hair loss problems, in addition to wigs, there are also false eyelashes, beards and mustaches, and individuals can use a makeup pencil to draw their eyebrows back on.

It may be frustrating to not look and feel your best during and after cancer, but it’s important to keep your spirits up.

“Be consistent with your vitamin intake, skincare and beauty routine,” Thompson encouraged. “By keeping a healthy routine you will start to feel better in no time.”

See Also:

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