Treatment Related Skin Changes: Photosensitivity

Certain types of chemotherapy and radiation treatments can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. This is often referred to as photosensitivity. This sensitivity can occur relatively quickly after starting treatment. For most patients, the sensitivity to sunlight will resolve once the treatment is complete. It is important to protect your skin during this time to prevent any complications. This can include doing things like: 

  • Avoiding direct sunlight during the hours of 10am and 4pm- this is when the sun rays are most intense 

  • Wearing sunblock or sun protective clothing items 

  • Remembering to reapply sunblock often throughout the day- especially if swimming 

  • Covering any areas of your skin where you may be receiving radiation treatments 

  • Wearing sunglasses that offer UV protection 

It is important to communicate any changes to your physician. Our Iris nurses are available 24/7 via phone call to help provide you with additional support.  

​​Cristina Mazzega-Fabbro, J. P. (2023). Mild Cryotherapy for Prevention of Paclitaxel-Induced Nail Toxicity in Breast Cancer Patients: A Phase II Single-Arm Clinical Trial. Clinical Breast Cancer, 23(4), 447-453. 

​Institute, N. C. (2022). Skin and Nail Changes during Cancer Treatment. Retrieved from,and%20your%20cuticles%20may%20hurt. 

​Shankila Mittal, N. K. (2022). Nail Changes With Chemotherapeutic Agents and Targeted Therapies. Indian Dermatology Online Journal