nail problems while on taxotere

I’ve seen posts on here about nail problems with Herceptin but I am now having Docitaxol and there are side effects for nails on this too. Nurses told me to paint finger and toe nails dark as sun could affect them. Did that but both big toe nails are getting bruised and hurt too when wearing shoes. One of them has even bled a tiny bit. Should I be concerned? I took nail varnish off the big toes so I can see what’s up. So, now I don’t want to wear flip flops outside in case I cause more damage with sun. Some sites I looked at advised against painting nails at all. Anyone have any experience with this?

Hi Jane G,

I have just finished chemo - I had 2 EC and 4 Docetaxol (taxotere). I ahd no problems on EC but more or less as soon as I started Doce i had saw nails (fingers and toes) any pressure on them hurt. I havnt experienced bleeding thought. Before starting Doce I was told that nails may fall off!!! I was dreading this however didnt experience any probs whilst having chemo. I am now nearly 4 weeks post chemo and i have to say my thumb nails are now lifting of the nail bed - i am not experincing any pain in them it just doesnt look very nice.

I have found that keeping your nails short reduces the lifting off the bed and I have continued to paint them (as i did throughout chemo) as it hides the slight discolouration and the lifting off the nail bed.

with regards to pain when wearing shoes - found this also and wore flipflops almost all the time and found no adverse effects with this - i wouldnt worry, as the sun would only damage the nail thats is there now following treatment new nail will grow to take its place and any damage will grow out.

hope this helps and hope you’re finding the taxotere ok!!! any other things i can help you with you anly have to ask.

take care pippa xxxx

Hi Ladies,
I had 3 FEC and 3 Tax which I finished at the end of January. I found 4 finger nails lifted completely and the others became very brittle and short. I didn’t bother to paint my nails because they are pretty rubbish anyway. There were a little sore on the first tax but did not hurt when the nails lifted. Just didn’t look very nice. I was surprised to lose a big toe nail several months later and that is obviously still growing out whereas my finger nails look fine now. I thought I would lose more toe nails as a few discoloured slightly but they hung in there!!! I actually think my finger nails are stronger now!!
Good luck with the rest of your chemo, it will fly by.
Jane xx

Hi ladies

I had 6 x tax in 2008 alongside herceptin, which I’ve continued with since. My nails were affected too, and I had split finger- and toe-tips which for me was just as bad. Since stopping the chemo I’ve found that the nails on my surgery side (ie not canula side) have mostly improved (apart from one), but the fingers on the canula side are still really weak. I have to keep them short otherwise they’d just split down or break off. I’ve tried Opi Nail Envy, which has been suggested elsewhere on these forums, but I’m pretty crap at taking the time to make my nails look nice, so I can’t say it’s really working for me yet. But the other bit of advice that I’m following from the same thread is not to use scissors/nail cutters, but just to use a nail file to keep nails in shape. I’m even now carrying one round in my handbag, which is probably fairly elementary for most people, but a big revelation for me!

One thing I have been told is that side effects from chemo can continue for many months post chemo, so don’t be surprised if problems carry on well after you’ve stopped chemo.

Best wishes.