Medical Treatments

How to relieve itching during cancer treatment?

Itching impedes with quality of life and can increase the risk of skin infection if scratched uncontrollably. Itching in cancer patients stems from a variety of causes. Radiation therapy, chemotherapy, bone marrow transplants and biological therapy mainly cause itching in the body. Infections or the healing process of wounds can cause itching. The cancerous tumor can also release inflammatory substances into the body that cause itching.
Some steps given below can prevent itching if followed properly-
1 Taking 30 minute bath in Luke warm water would counteract the relieving effects of hydration by drawing moisture away from the skin.
2 Trap moisture in the skin with a thin layer of lotion after bathing. Ask the doctor about using topical steroid creams, as they reduce skin thickness.
3 Using cornstarch with caution can relieve the itching caused by radiation therapy, but it promotes fungal growth on moist skin.
4 avoiding or reducing the use of detergents for clothes and avoiding the usage of perfumes would help prevent itching as these are hard substances which might reacts quickly in such situations. Add ½ cup of vinegar to your rinse water to remove residues.
5 Seek out loose cotton clothing and bed linens. Wool and some synthetic fabrics exacerbate itching.
6 Ask the doctor about medicines to reduce itching. Aspirin combined with the drug cimetidine provides relief for some tumor-associated itching. Sedatives and tranquilizers can quiet the nerve dysfunction that causes itching.
7 Apply a cool, damp washcloth to the affected areas to interrupt the itching and scratching cycle. Gentle pressure or massage can also distract patients long enough to relieve the urge to scratch that leads to more itching.

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