Side Effects: Nail Infection and Skin Reactions

Nail Inflammation and Infection

Patients having infusion treatment may become more prone to nail infections. Symptoms include:

  • Red and inflamed skin on the sides of the fingernail
  • Pus collection around the fingernail

Doctors often treat nail infections with antibiotics or creams. Be sure to tell your care team if you have any symptoms.

To prevent nail infections:

  • Do not push back your cuticles.
  • If you get a manicure, check with your manicurist to make sure equipment is cleaned properly and ask that it be a gentle manicure (do not go to a manicurist who gives rough manicures).
  • Keep your nails as dry as possible, and try not to leave them soaking for long periods of time.
  • Wear gloves to wash dishes and do housework.
  • Do not use harsh or irritating substances, such as nail polish, nail polish remover and other detergents.

Skin Reactions

Skin reactions are a common side effect of some infusion treatments, including:

  • Redness
  • Rash
  • Itchiness
  • Dryness
  • Acne

Skin reactions can become severe. If you have any of the symptoms above, tell your treatment team right away. Based on the type of reaction you are having, your care team may prescribe a corticosteroid cream or an antibiotic.

Try these tips:

  • Stay away from strongly scented bath products.
  • Use perfume- and alcohol-free products with added moisturizers.
  • Bathe and shower as briefly as possible in lukewarm water.
  • Use lotion after drying off from a bath or shower.
  • Do not wear wool and synthetic materials that could cause irritation.
  • Humidifiers can be used with caution. Be sure to clean filters daily.
  • Stay out of direct sunlight during peak hours of the day (10am–2pm).
  • Use a broad-spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 any time you go outdoors.