Monday, August 27, 2012

Hand and Foot Syndrome I'm a little wierded out by my feet...and sort of hesitated to share this with you, but I decided it was better that I do.  Yep..this is my right foot.  You can see how the skin is peeling off and the foot is very reddened in areas. On the upper side of my instep you can see the remains of a rash I had.  I'm not sure if the rash is from the Xeloda, or if it is a reaction to something in the salves I have been using.

I do know, however, that this series has resulted in the most painful foot and hand issues for longer than any other session....It got bad once, then the last couple of series were better...but this is the pits. I am finding it very difficult to walk and my fingers are extremely sensitive.

I do laugh when people suggest to start using salves IMMEDIATELY particularly one called Bag Balm.  I did..and I'm still a hurting puppy.  Genentech, the Xeloda manufacturers give you a little tube of Udderly Smooth, the current name for what was once known as Udder Cream.  I know it well. In fact, I have a pot of it--a large canister--as it has long been used by hand-quilters to calm the fingertips on the under-hand.  The medical field bought into it and often hands out samples for a variety of reasons.  I like it, but it is very light and I find that it just isn't heavy duty enough.

I have used Bag Balm and slather it on at night and put on socks to go to bed....and that has resulted in a rash, although it did help some.  One draw back with both Udderly Smooth and Bag Balm is that they contain parabens, the most common being Methyl-paraben and propylparaben.  The parabens are used in cosmetics, food and pharmaceuticals as a preservative (an anti-microbial).  The problem is that they are absorbed through the skin and the gastro-intestinal tract and they mimic estrogen...Not something I should be using (for more on this, please refer to this article, and I am sure that there are more in-depth discussions elsewhere on the web.)  It is extremely difficult to find lotions and deodorants which don't contain parabens...

One salve which DOESN'T contain parabens and does a really good job is Burt's Bees Miracle Salve, but it is often difficult to find.  I found another product which helps with the cracking/deep fissures and the general hurting on my feet is a heel cream which is in a stick form from Kohl's.  It is horribly expensive, doesn't contain a list of ingredients, and doesn't last long, although it works well (it sells for $10 per small stick).  Gold Bond makes an Ultimate Healing Foot Therapy cream, which smells nice and works well....not as great as the Miracle Salve for serious stuff, but for day to day it's nice.  But (there's always a but, isn't there?) it contains both methylparaben and propylparaben, and is a little hard to find. Another Gold Bond Product which is lighter yet again is Gold Bond Ultimate softening foot cream with shea butter....but I think the Ultimate does a better job..and no surprise, it also has the parabens.

Dr. Scholl's "for her" Intensive Heel Repair Cream doesn't appear to have parabens (at least I couldn't find them listed), but I don't think it works as well as the Gold Bond Ultimate Healing Foot Cream.  After hearing that someone was doing a study with Xeloda users to see if using an antiperspirant on the feet would help, I went out to find an antiperspirant....and ended up buying a men's antiperspirant as it was the only one which seemed to fit the description..but it too had parabens in it, and I don't think it did anything.

The only thing I haven't tried...partly because I don't want orange feet and partly because it seems silly is to get some henna and put it on my feet....leaving it on for I think 20, it's a little difficult to find around here.

What do you use?


  1. Do you know Donna Peach. Here's a link to her blog. She may have some other suggestions.... Just in case you aren't familiar with Donna, here you go:

  2. You should try Lindi Skin's Soothing Balm. They have all sorts of lotions designed just for cancer side-effects. The Soothing Balm worked wonders on HFS and they are paraben free.
    You can find stores or buy it at their web site.