Nail care during chemo

Morning ladies. I have read a lot advise on here about painting nails a dark colour to reduce discolouring etc. Does this actually work? Can I use nail polish remover during chemo or do I just keep applying polish over the top when it chips or grows out? Thanks Helen x

Hi Helen - just commented on your other thread! Sat here watching daytime TV and browsing the threads in here!
I’ve been using OnicoLife drops (Internet) costs £15 with very quick delivery. Been putting it in my nails twice a day since a few weeks before I started chemotherapy (having 3 cycles of FEC and 3 cycles of T) I haven’t been wearing nail varnish as it tends to irritate my face if I touch it. So far the only difference to my nails is that the half moons are faintly bluish. Otherwise they’re strong and growing well! But I start cycle 4 in 10 days and that’s the different chemical referred to as T (docitaxel) That’s the one that apparently makes your nails sensitive to UV light and the advice tends to be to paint your nails a dark colour. So that’s what I’m going to do the night before. I had thought I’d take it off each weekend, apply the OnicoLife drops, then reapply - although looking for advice on that too!
Hope this helps :slight_smile: xxx

Hi Helen

I was advised not to paint my nailsas it could hide or mask any nail issues or infections.

I have kept my nails very short and have endes up using Dr organics tea tree nail treatment from holland n Barratt and I use OPI avonail and Nail envy. If you are using remover id use acetone free. Dont forget to look after your toenails too

My nails up to now (touch wood) are fine I finish 7 cycles in 3 weeks so I have already had 18 weeks of chemo.

Jen x

Hi, I’ve just finished 4 cycles of Doxetacil & Cylophsphamide, I’ve not had any problems with my nails they carried on growing I’ve kept them short. I haven’t used nail varnish as didn’t want to use remover. I have worn gloves when washing up, also when outside. I’ve used coconut oil to keep my hands and nails moisturised. 


Ann xx

HI Helen


Me again! I ought to keep reading and then reply.


I wore deep plum nail varnish while having docetaxol and it did malke a difference - especially when I compared my nails to some of the ladies who didn’t. My nails went a little bit brown but didnt break or flake. You can get some paraben free, gentle nail varnishes from I used nail varnish remover but made sure it was an oily one - and used a lot of rich shea butter hand cream well massaged into the cuticles.


Sending you a hug.



I finished 6 cycles of Fec-t in December 2013
My onc told me its the docetaxol ie the ‘T’ bit that affects your nails - the more doses the more likely you are to have problems. The theory is the chemo reacts with ultraviolet in the nail bed, so any solid colour nail varnish is fine (doesn’t have to be dark). I redid my nails in my good week. I never left the house in daylight hours without putting gloves on (including nipping out to the dustbin) or wearing socks etc
I didn’t lose a single nail nor did they go a funny colour - there were growth ridges where growth was stunted during chemo hits and they felt a bit bruised at times but that was it.
Best of luck x