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Skin Changes Caused By Targeted Chemotherapies

What should I do if I have skin changes?

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© American Cancer Society 2010

It is very important to tell your doctor or nurse about any rashes or skin changes you notice. Left untreated, the rash can get worse and lead to infection, as well as the need to delay or even stop treatment. Do not treat your skin with over-the-counter medicines or stop taking your targeted therapy without talking to your doctor first.

Your doctor may give you a skin cream or a medicine you take by mouth to treat the skin changes you have. Use theses medicines the way the doctor tells you to and start them right away. Let your health care team know if your skin is not getting better after 2 weeks of treatment.

Be sure to let your doctor or nurse know if:

  • you notice any signs of a rash. There are creams you can use to try to keep it from getting worse.
  • your skin is dry, flaking, or cracked. Moisturizing cream may help with this.
  • your skin is itchy. There are creams and gels you can use to ease itchiness. There are also some medicines you can take by mouth to try to stop the itching.
  • the area around your fingernails or toenails becomes sore or red. Creams and soaks can help with this. But your health care team needs to watch to be sure you don't get an infection.

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