With cancer treatment comes a variety of side effects. There is fatigue, nausea, and dry mouth just to name a few, but one of the side effects I never expected to encounter was the “Chemo Rash”. Not long after my first round of treatment with four different chemo medications, Herceptin, Prejeta, Docetaxel & Carboplatin in September of 2016, did the mother of all side effect start to appear. The first two medications were targeted meds, for the HER2+, or aggressiveness of the cancer, while the last two were just equal opportunity killers, as I took to calling them. Those were the ones that took their toll on me both physically and mentally, but at least those were side effects that I could hide with a fake smile and rest.
The Chemo Rash was a whole other thing. A few weeks after my first round of treatment, I had what looked like painful pimples start to appear all over my face. My first thought was, oh on top of everything else I have a bad case of acne, so I switched to using an acne cleanser every morning, thinking that would send these horrible bumps packing. Well, instead of making the situation better, it instead made it worse. Areas, where there were no bumps, got really dry, and the bumps seemed to get better instead of worse.
I was due to return to my oncologist for hydration, as that was standard practice while going through chemo. My doctor took one look at me and diagnosed what I thought was acne as a chemo rash, that was most likely as a result of the Prejeta drug. Although I knew I shouldn’t touch the bumps, they hurt so much that I took to trying to “pop” them to at least relieve the pain that they caused. This of course was a concern to my doctor, as I was opening my skin up to infection, so she prescribed a topical ointment to apply to the affected areas called Clindamycin.
I still had to work throughout my treatment in order to maintain my health insurance, as well as keep some form of a paycheck coming in to help pay the bills. This rash made the daily task of going to work very difficult. While I knew it was a rash caused by my treatments, to the unknowing eye it just looked like a bad case of acne, and I hated the ideas of the strange looks I would get from people I passed in the hall. I could have covered it with makeup, but I felt that would end up doing more harm than good, because the makeup would just end up clogging up areas that were already inflamed, and the last thing I wanted to do was do anything that would cause me to suffer from this rash for any longer than I needed to.
Prior to my Breast Cancer diagnosis, I had started pursuing the homeopathic/natural route to curing a variety of ailments. Nux Vomica for nausea, Arnica for pain and general healing, as well as a plethora of other remedies that had been used for centuries prior to the arrival of modern medicine, and the chemical concoctions that are the common form of treatment. I knew I could not be the only one who had ever dealt with this type of rash, so I embarked on a quest to find a natural cleanser that would put an end to this painful rash once and for all.
After countless Google searches, I happened across a company called Beterre. Right away, I was very interested in the products they had to offer because their goal was to use all natural ingredients, and one of the companies founders was a two-time Breast Cancer survivor herself who had developed these products to treat the side effects of cancer treatment. I took a look at the ingredients, and the biggest positive I found was that they contained Arnica, which is a powerful natural remedy for healing. Although the products offered from Beterre were not exactly cheap, nothing natural ever is, I could not tolerate the rash any longer, so I knew I had nothing to lose by giving them a try.
Classified as products designed for Dry Skin, I ordered the Deep Moisture Repair for Face, All in One Facial Cleanser, and the Deeply Nourishing Body Moisture Cream. Although I am a bit skeptical about the effectiveness of any product prior to use, I held out hope that these items would be the answer to all my issues.
My order arrived promptly, and right away I took to using the facial cleanser with my Clarisonic every morning with a sensitive brush head since my skin was so very irritated. After cleansing, I would then apply the Deep Moisture Repair for face and held out hope that the natural ingredients would help heal my skin. Within a few weeks, the rash began to subside, which made me quite happy.
I used these products religiously throughout my remaining five rounds of chemo, and the rash never returned. Of course, my doctor inquired as to what I was using, and when I told her, I was, of course, met with skepticism since it was a natural product that was delivering the results, and modern medicine tends to look negatively down on anything natural, as that is not where their training resides.
If you have happened across this post because you are suffering from the same rash as I did, I highly encourage you to give these products a try. They were truly a lifesaver to me, that I still use to this very day, and I believe that once you try them, you will surely feel the same.