Dry and tight skin

Hi, I wonder if anyone could help me or whether anyone has experienced anything similar? I’m on Palbociclib, Letrozole, Denusamab and Zoladex. I’ve been on these for over a year and it’s only been in the last few weeks that my skin from head to toe is dry and flaky, not itchy. Any part of me that skinny jeans rub or elastic rubs is now beginning to cause irritation. I’ve been trying all sorts of unscented creams, showers, baths (all shorter and not hot) but it seems to be getting worse. It’s now getting sore! I’ve never had skin problems before. My skin is also very tight like I’m ageing really quickly and is even uncomfortable on my face until I cream it. It’s like I’m wearing a mask! Any suggestions?


Jo x

Hi Jo

I have been experiencing both as well as this itchy feeling. I keep well moisturised and use oils as part of my bed time routine - almond oil. I have recently been using Elizabeth Arden eight hour night balm - a big fan of this and has really helped.


Similar issues, but not all the time. I use Aveeno cream and oils, including showering. This was first given to me in hospital before my rads three years ago. I’ve got a bit cocky and returned to using lovely scented stuff, but when it does feel tight I return to this brand. X

Hi, I have the same problem and the only thing that helps is slapping on loads of unscented moisturising cream.   Nurse told me that E45 actually dries out skin so I stick to Aveno which is very soothing.  Also tight clothing seems to irritate my skin more so I avoid tight jeans and go for a looser style even if I do feel like my old granny who always wore porridge coloured elasticated trousers.   I use Boots serum on my face which I like a lot.  All the best xx

Hi Jo,

So sorry to hear you are suffering with your skin.  I have the same problem.  I’ve had eczema my whole life and some of the cancer treatments I’ve had make it worse, especially the dryness. 

I wholeheartedly agree with all the recommendations the other people have made already.  Don’t wear tight clothing, stick to cotton or bamboo fabric (tencel is also really good), and as far as jeans go, Sainsburys do lovely soft and stretchy ones that don’t rub harshly on the skin.

A good tip I was told by a dermatologist is to moisturise with a colloidal oat cream first (so the likes of Aveeno, but I stopped using that and switched to Aprodorm Colloidal Oat cream which is more like an emollient and its much softer on my skin); then once the cream has soaked in apply a body oil of some kind (obviously if your skin doesn’t react to oils).  Apparently applying the oil after the cream has soaked in forms a protective layer and helps the skin retain the moisture its had from the cream, especially in winter.  It also helps prevent that friction from clothes - I use oil on my thighs every day that I leave the house as it stops my jeans from irritating the tender skin.

I use Weleda’s Calendula baby wash and shampoo as well.  I wash my hair with the Calendula baby wash and my dry scalp cleared up beautifully.  Weleda’s Skin Food was recommended to me by a friend and I have to say it is an absolutely gorgeous cream that takes care of the cracks I get under my toes and on my fingers.

For oil, I use a body oil blend that has apricot seed, jojoba, avocado, lavender, olive and a couple of other essential oils I forget the name of.  I find that apricot seed, avocado, jojoba and rose/rosehip oil blends work better on my particular type of skin than a single oil on its own.  You can find a lot of lovely body oil blends online these days.

Also, don’t forget to drink plenty of water, or herbal tea.  I can always tell when I’ve not drunk enough water as my skin feels really papery.  You can also look into taking an Omega 3-6-9 supplement as these are the fatty acids that keep your skin good (or you could just eat a handful of different nuts every day:  almonds, walnuts, cashews, hazel nuts and seeds like sunflower, flax, pumpkin, linseed).

Hope your skin feels better soon.  Don’t forget you can always tell your Oncologist and ask for a meds break or a dose reduction as well if your skin starts to get to the point where its interfering with your day to day life xxx