What can we do for patients who develop rashes associated with cancer chemotherapies?

Skin rash is a major side effect of erlotinib therapy; however, it can also be seen with other chemotherapies. Treatment for rashes should include determining the severity of the rash using a grading system of 1 to 4. For grade 1 and grade 2 rashes, use of Regenecare wound gel or a corticosteroid cream 4 times daily seems to lessen the itching, pain, and redness.

For grade 3 rashes, a 4% erythromycin ointment used 2 to 3 times daily, after washing with warm water and a mild, nondrying soap, is reported as effective. Chemotherapy dose reductions or discontinuation of therapy should be considered for patients with grade 4 rashes. — Rosemarie A. Tucci, RN, MSN

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