Written by Ian Robson

 

It is widely recognised that cosmetic products and treatments can play a significant role in improving the wellbeing of people undergoing cancer treatment.  As a result, there has been a big increase in spas and salons training their staff in cancer massage therapy but what about nail care?

Among cancer therapies, chemotherapy drugs aim at destroying cancerous cells.  However, as they do not act selectively, they also attack other cells, especially skin cells, hair cells and nail cells.  When it comes to nails, chemotherapy can damage the cells of the nail matrix, and cause several types of anomalies that may affect both fingernails and toenails.

The most common troubles include:
o ridged, breaking, splitting or thickened nails;
o hyperpigmentation, irregular pigmentation, appearance of brown to black stains, bluish or orange stains;
o a greenish colouration due to a bacterial or mycotic (fungal) infection occurring between nail plate and nail bed;
o leukonychia or white spots on nails;
o paronychia (inflammatory swelling around the nails);
o onycholysis, often due to an infection (total or partial detachment of the nail from the nail bed, which can lead to complete loss of the nail);
o subungual haemorrhages;
o periungual paronychia (erythematous inflammation) often together with infectious complications.

To address these common troubles, we’re proud to say that our MAVALA Laboratories have created a guide of recommended nail treatments for before, during and after cancer therapy.  This is divided into nail care, camouflage and colour.

Nail care takes a two pronged attack combining a weekly nail hardener on the tips of the nail with a moisturising serum on the whole surface of nails. This helps to bond the three layers of nail together as well as maintain the optimum moisture balance in order to restore and preserve the flexibility of the nail plate.  A barrier base with fortifying ingredients then forms a protective screen between the nail plate and nail polish.

To camouflage discoloured or ridged nails, a thin coat of nail whitener and or ridge filler make an immediate difference and further helps provide protection during cancer therapy.

Colour focus is on nail polish ranges which are free from formaldehyde, toluene, phthalates, colophance, added nickel and parabens.  One important discovery, although not scientifically proven, is that the nail polish ingredient, silicon dioxide acts as a shield on the nail, protecting against the side effects of chemotherapy. Choosing a darker colour hides any discolouration of the nail that is likely to occur. 

A weekly nutritive nail cream treatment and daily hand or foot cream completes the treatment advice.

If you’d like to find out more about nail care treatments during cancer therapy please do contact our National Sales Manager, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..