Bowel cancer treatment and side effects

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Cetuximab face rash cream

Hi all. Face has just broken out again after cycle 4. Very raw, feels like it's on fire. E45 doesn't touch it and I'm told I shouldn't use Pliazon on the thin skin of the face. Some folks on here report some success with other creams. Anybody found something really effective (and fast!) Thanks


Good morning @CP

Ive been on this treatment since 2016 and still get break outs of the white head spotty rash. I manage my skin by washing with Dermol lotion and water with a clean flannel. Depending on the condition of my skin, I use hydrocortisone 1% sparingly some days then lots of Pliazon cream. I really like Pliazon as it's not too greasy for face. On days it's particularly dry, I apply more during day and at night before bed. I have had on occasions a severe break out and needed betnovate but thankfully that was ages ago now. Definitely keep face out of sun and I apply spf 30 (as I hate the 50!) I also need a hat to protect scalp as my hair is much thinner than it used to be.

Hope this helps a little,

Lots of love,

Karen 🌸🌼🌺🌻🌷


Thanks Karen. I used Pliazon and it was good but the chemo nurse suggested that the cream should not be used on the thin skin of the face. I took like the PLiazon due to the lack of greasiness. maybe should use sparingly. Will check out the dermal lotion. Many thanks for tips

Polly 1

My husband agrees with Karen @CP . He much prefers Factor 30. He hasn't much hair anyway so always wears a cap or sun hat outside.

Again like Karen he uses a little Hydrocortisone sometimes but Pliazon nearly every day. The chemo nurses told him to also use it to wash his face with water. Also spread liberally over his face afterwards. He also uses Aveeno Baby later in the cycle.

I hope your face is calming down now


Great. V useful. Many thanks.


Hi @CP
Sorry that your face is so sore. It really is a difficult side effect at times. I am surprised that you were advised to not use Pliazon to your face. I had to use Hydrocortisone at times for the more severe flares. . I also found Aveeno to be an effective moisturiser. Aloe Vera gel kept in the fridge can also feel very cooling when the face feels so raw and on fire.
Hope things feel better for you.
Jane :x:


Hi @CP .. I have been having Cetuximab fortnightly for a little over 2 years now and over that time have tried a variety of different “lotions and potions” to manage my face rash. I have settled on a couple which work for me in calming the rash, both being “oat based”. One was prescribed by the oncologist, called Aproderm and the other is one which I found after a bit of research, Aveeno “Skin Relief Moisture Repair”, Intense Moisture with “triple oat complex”. I guess that different creams will work for different people so a case of trial and error.

Interesting to read about some peoples preference for Factor 30 over Factor 50. I use Factor 50 but may give 30 a try. Whatever works best, be sure to definitely use sun cream because UV certainly exacerbates the issues caused by the rash.

Good luck finding the right cream for you.


Thanks both. I shall investigate. Spoke to the chemo folk today and it seems I was misinformed or misunderstood the Pliazon cream. It's not hydrocortisone as I understood so can use it liberally on the face. Docs looking at photos with a view to using antibiotics or something> anyway, oat products sound v interesting. I use factor 30 at the moment which seems to be OK but am avoiding sun most of the time. Thanks as always for informative replies. Face not burning so much at the moment. All best C


Oh gosh yes @CP definitely antibiotics! I take 100mg doxycycline every day in addition to the the lotions and potions! Yes it’s hydrocortisone that’s to be used sparingly.

Lots of love,

Karen 🌹🌼🌺