How can you manage hand-foot syndrome at home?
There are a number of measures you can take to try and prevent the development of hand-foot syndrome as much as possible.
Prepare your skin as much as possible by visiting a podiatrist. Ask your specialist nurse for a recommendation for a practitioner who specialises in patients undergoing chemotherapy. They can provide you with advice on how to manage your skin.
About ten days before you start chemotherapy treatment, moisturize your hand and feet with cream several times a day. Your doctor or nurse can advise you on this.
What can you do during treatment to prevent or minimise symptoms?
- Moisturising is the most important thing to do, preferably up to four times per day. — Use a good moisturising (hydrating) cream for this.
- Avoid tight shoes and high heels.
- Stay out of the sun as much as possible and do not use a tanning bed.
- Do not expose your hands and feet to extreme heat and cold.
- Wear gloves and slippers to protect your hands and feet from the cold.
- Use an extra oily soap (fat-enriched soap).
- Be careful with acne agents, as they dry out the skin.
- Be careful with over-the-counter medication. Always consult your doctor.
View the different types of skincare products here.
If you still suffer from red skin, flaking, blisters, itching and pain, you can take the following steps to reduce the symptoms as much as possible.
- Relieve your pain with cold water baths or a bag of ice cubes.
- Wear specially cooled insoles.
- Avoid irritation caused by rubbing the skin. No tight clothing, overly constricted shoes or tight bandages.
- Avoid heavy pressure on your hands and feet (avoid walking barefoot, jogging, or gardening that requires a firm grip).
- Before going to sleep, coat your palms and soles with a thick layer of moisturising cream. Wear loose, thin cotton gloves and stockings.
- Try insoles (such as silicone) to reduce pressure while walking.
Moisturise, preferably 4 times a day
Avoid tight shoes
Stay out of the sun as much as possible
Avoid extreme heat and cold
Wear gloves and slippers
Use an oil-rich soap
Be careful with over-the-counter medications