Hand-Foot Syndrome: What Do You Need to Know?
Palmar-Planta Erythodysesthesia (okay, let’s go with PPE or Hand-Foot Syndrome to make this easy!), is a skin reaction and common side effect of certain medications — such as Doxil®, and continuous infusion of Flurouracil® (5FU), Xeloda®, Sutent®, Nexavar®, and Taxotere® therapy — for the treatment of cancer.
It usually occurs in the hands and feet, but despite it’s name, it can also occur on other parts of the body are in contact with clothes that are tight or cause friction or sweating.
Symptoms of Hand-Foot Syndrome:
- Flaking or peeling of the skin
- Redness, pain, or tenderness
- Rash, or small blisters or sores, on the palms of hands or soles of feet
- Tingling, burning, or itching
Hand-Foot Syndrome can occur at anytime after the first treatment up to the sixth treatment. In most patients, the reaction is mild and improves in one or two weeks. However, for some patients, it may be necessary to change the dose or delay therapy for a period of time. Though more rare, it can be sever in some patients and may require you to stop your therapy. Of course, we’ll keep a close watch for any symptoms. But let your doctor or nurse know if you experience any skin reactions or tingling.
Here’s what you can do to manage the symptoms:
- Avoid heat
- Wear loose-fitting clothing
- Wear comfortable, well-ventilated, low-heeled shoes
- Elevate feet when possible
- Wear sunblock (CPF 15 or higher)
- Take cool, short showers or baths
And here’s what you should not do:
- Don’t get direct sunlight. For example, don’t sit near sunny windows and don’t sit or walk in the sun when you go outside. It’s all about the shade.
- Don’t put unnecessary tape on your skin
- Don’t wear restrictive undergraments such as bras, girdles, tight socks, or pantyhose
- Don’t put pressure on your skin, such as kneeling, leaning on your elbows, wearing tight jewelry or clothing, chopping hard goods, or engaging in excessive exercise
- Don’t have contact with hot water
Some patients will find relief using these products:
- Udderly Smooth® or Udder Cream®
- Bag Balm® or petroleum jelly (apply at bedtime, use with cotton socks and/or gloves)
- Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine
But please contact your doctor or nurse regarding the use of any non-prescribed products.