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A double-blind, randomised trial of a polyphenolic-rich nail bed balm for chemotherapy-induced onycholysis: the UK polybalm study

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journal contribution
posted on 2018-05-18, 11:32 authored by Robert Thomas, Madeleine Williams, Michael Cauchi, Saul Berkovitz, Sarah A. Smith
Purpose Nail damage is common amongst patients receiving chemotherapy causing disfigurement and pain. This investigation evaluated whether a topical balm containing steam-extracted, bioactive polyphenolic-rich herbal oils blended with organic waxes could protect the nails via their reported anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-oxidant and anti-microbial properties. Methods 60 patients (23M, 37F) were randomised to apply (2–3/day) either the plant balm (PB) or a petroleum control (PC) to their nail beds. Demographics, type and number of chemotherapy cycles did not differ between the two groups, recruited between Sept 2015 and Sept 2016. An unpaired t test was used to test the differences in symptoms and physical nail damage between the two groups. Results Symptom scores recorded with the dermatology life quality questionnaire (DLQQ) were significantly better, between the start and end of chemotherapy, in the group applying the PB versus PC. Likewise, the mean fall in nail damage, scored with the Nail Psoriasis Index by the supervising physician, was also significantly different. Conclusion The polyphenolic-rich essential oils and plant-based waxes in this nail bed balm profoundly reduced chemotherapy-related nail damage and improved nail-related quality of life, compared to a control. A further analysis is planned combining this balm with nail bed cooling.

History

Publication

Breast Cancer Research and Treatment;pp.1-8

Publisher

Springer

Note

peer-reviewed

Other Funding information

Provincial Grand Lodge of Bedfordshire

Language

English

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