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erbitux and acne/rash?

petppetp's picture
petppetp
Posts: 14
Joined: Nov 2008

my mom started erbitux 2 1/2 weeks ago and started to get acne on her rose....i hear thats the norm with erbitux.
does anyone have any remedies for this? ive heard of docs prescribing antibiotics, how effective are they? i brought this up with my moms onco and she says shes hessitant of prescribing a full blown antibiotic since the body can build a tolerance to antibiotics over time and she'd rather save if for the future. in the interim she said to try neosporin and some benadryl.

also, correct me if im wrong but from the research that ive done isnt it proper protocol to give an antihistamine DURING the chemo session of erbitux in order to prevent the acne from appearing. ive read that once the acne develops, getting rid of it is hard to do.

any help would be appreciated.
many thanks

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4689
Joined: May 2005

Hi,
first do a search on THIS site. There have been numerous posts about it. I take minocyclin daily for it. I've also been on Erbitux pretty much non-stop for over 3 years. The rash subsides to some degree after a while. Actually, it gets tons better. Now I have problems with splitting fingertips and my feet are cracking/splitting too a bit. It is an amazingly powerful drug that has done wonders for me cancer-wise. How often is she getting Erbitux and is she taking any other chemo?
-phil
PS- do you have a name?
;-)

I did a quick check. Here are some previous posts
http://csn.cancer.org/node/176466
http://csn.cancer.org/node/172984
http://csn.cancer.org/node/169103
http://csn.cancer.org/node/165313

petppetp's picture
petppetp
Posts: 14
Joined: Nov 2008

hi phil,

yes, shes on erbitux/oxaliplatin/5fu/leucoverin...i think that cocktail is called folofox6? doc switched the avastin she was on to erbitux, she just started taking it every 3 or 4 weeks.
thanks very much for the info, i shouldve done a search beforehand :0

all the best and happy holidays
peter

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4689
Joined: May 2005

No problem, it's a rookie error ;-)
It is a good cocktail, I wish her the best.
Feel free to ask more questions, everyone here is helpful
-phil

KATE58's picture
KATE58
Posts: 300
Joined: Nov 2009

I had the rash BAD when I was on erbitux ! I hate that stuff
an anti histimine won't work because it is NOT an allergic reaction.
my doctor gave me an antibiotic called clindamycin phosphate, a gel,but it dried my face so much,
I felt like I was on fire.So,I used a Q tip and only put it on the eruptions.
I also got the eruptions on my thighs,
and I got little pustules in my eyelash line that would itch and burn and my eyelashes
fell out( I'm just full of good news aren't I ?!!!)
also I kept getting infections in my nail cuticles,almost like ingrown nails,
that is what I used the antibiotic on.

worse news: later in the treatment I starting growing dark peachfuzz on my face
(it went away)

good news: when my eylashes grew back,they came in longer and thicker and darker then they
were before.I don't need mascara!

more good news;it got rid of the tumour!

hang in there,when you stop the erbitux,in a month or two your face and all will clear up
good luck

GOD BLESS
Kate

Fayelau
Posts: 1
Joined: Dec 2011

This is Faye from China.Could you kindly tell me how the efficacy of erbitux?And whats the price in USA?
Thanks!

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4689
Joined: May 2005

I have had good success with Erbitux. I am covered by insurance so I really do not know what it costs. Sorry I could not be of more help.
-p

laurettas
Posts: 372
Joined: May 2011

Hello Faye. I just saw a bill for my husband's Erbitux treatment. It is about $12,000 each treatment. It sounds like the price of drugs varies, however, from one region to another in the US.

Kathy62's picture
Kathy62
Posts: 5
Joined: Sep 2011

I just took my 4th treatment of Erbitux and I am taking the Minocycling twice a day, but my neck really icthes and so does my back. My face is sooo dry. My skin doctor told me to use vaseline and that has helped. Almost everything burns my face right now. I also take Irinotecan(?? spelling, not sure) along with it. My hair is falling out again.:( I have been fighting stage 4 colon cancer since Feb. 2009. My CEA is 6.1 but has been lower, I just got off of a 7 week break and it went up some while I was off. I hated to go back to chemo. My last CT scan showed not signs of spots in my liver, but some spots that were 6mm or smaller in my lungs. My dr says we have to keep treating this and not give it a chance to spread. My last PET scan didn't light up so that was nice, but still so hard to keep taking the chemo. You said that you have taking Erbitux for 3 years. Tell me about your cancer and your orginally prognosis if you don't mind. I was told 25 months was average life span it has been about 19 months for me now. My levels all look good, but I am very tired all the time, just have not energy and my lower back has burning sensation that really hurts and my right side under my ribs hurts off and on through out the day. Any thing like this for you?

Kathy62

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4689
Joined: May 2005

I just sent you a PM (email) though this site with a bunch of info.
-phil

pluckey's picture
pluckey
Posts: 478
Joined: Jul 2009

the antihistimine isn't to keep the rash at bay, but to minimize other allergic reactions like breathing etc...

I had nasty rash at first and it got aggrivated and really bad when I wasn't covered up in the sun for like five minutes.

some creams were rx'd for me but didn't do much. I wash my face with an olive-oil based cleaner OR cetaphil. I use large cotton pads to wash and rinse face, not a washcloth, as it's more irritating and any detergent or fabric softner/fragrance may further irritate.

I also bought Lindi Skin Care(can google it) which was developed by onco nurses and good for very dry skin...

my rash is not as bad as it was at first. I do have cracked heels and sores around my finger beds. I'll use udder balm or aquaphor and stick my feet/jhands in socks at night to let the balm work.

good luck

peggy

KATE58's picture
KATE58
Posts: 300
Joined: Nov 2009

what worked better for me than the udder balm,
was Burts Bees Coconut Foot Cream,
I did the same thing with the socks at night.
just don't use white socks, it kind of stains a bit.

Patteee's picture
Patteee
Posts: 950
Joined: Jul 2009

miss you Kathy!

robinvan's picture
robinvan
Posts: 1014
Joined: May 2007

I am taking Erbitux now and am on both and oral (Minocycline) and topical (Clinomycine) antibiotics. The rash is much better since I started the antibiotics.

Rob

huangsw
Posts: 1
Joined: Aug 2011

I’ve struggled with severe Erbitux acne for a long time, and tried all the options provided by oncologist and dermatologist, but just didn’t work. Until recently I found a $10 solution and works like a charm. By following the instructions and I do it 3 times a day at beginning:

1.) Wash face with PURPOSE (by Johnson and Johnson, $5.50)
2.) Apply ZAPZYT (maximum strength, $4.50) to my face and let it dry
3.) Apply moisture or sunscreen cream if necessary

In 3 days, skin becomes dryness and peeling; another 3 days, say goodbye to my scarface. I then reduce it by only once a day and I stop taking antibiotics (Doxycycline.) Good luck!

tmschaffer
Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2011

My husband was on Erbitux and had a bad rash on his face and head, chest and back. We tried the antibiotics and they didn’t work. Then he was hospitalized for an infection and the nurse told us about ProActiv. Yes, the acne medication. It worked beautifully. Within a week he had clear skin. They also have a shampoo that worked very well to get rid of the painful cysts on his head. He was able to go outside and not feel like a he was diseased.

Pass it on to everyone you know about how well this works. I don’t know of anyone else on Erbitux that has tried it, but all the chemo nurses asked us what we did to make him look so good and when we told them they said they were going to tell everyone they know.

CherylHutch's picture
CherylHutch
Posts: 1399
Joined: Apr 2007

I'll be starting Vectibix this Friday... so am marking this one down on my list. Do you know what brand makes ProActiv? I'm assuming we can get it here in Canada, but there are some products people suggest that we don't get here in Canada, hence why I have to ask :)

Thanks!

Cheryl in Vancouver

pluckey's picture
pluckey
Posts: 478
Joined: Jul 2009

I don't think actual Acne products will help in clearing this rash. Although my skin reacted like sunburnt, dry, flaky very very red and it was itchy and burned...i held bags of ice on my face and cold cloths during the night.

I had a horrible reaction to Erbitux. While it is described as "acne-like" it's origin is not from oily cells....pro activ could be too strong, just be careful at first.

the several creams etc that the dermatologist prescribed me did not work...I had to live with the rash..use very very mild products - Cetaphil to cleanse, no perfumes in lotions etc...
Lindi Skin Care line was created by oncology nurses, very soothing products

good luck

Peggy

CherylHutch's picture
CherylHutch
Posts: 1399
Joined: Apr 2007

I think you are right, Peggy. When trying to find a solution that will work for the rash, we have to remember that we aren't treating a bad acne problem, even though that is what it might look like (and what people seeing us may think). When teens have a bad acne problem, their acne is not created because of a chemical they have put in their bodies, hence the products for teen acne are targeting a totally different rash/problem than what we are trying to find a solution for.

Me, I don't start the Vectibix until Friday (although I may get that rescheduled to next week just because of a family event in November that will conflict with the dates of my vectibix sessions). But, I'd rather be prepared with a couple of possibilities before I start, than to get the rash (knowing I probably would) and then it's a weekend and now what do I do?? ;)

I have always liked the brand, Clinique. It is a clean, fresh brand with no perfumes, and they do have the product of Clinique Redness Solutions. One of the products in that line is a Daily Relief Cream, that is purposely built to give relief from red, irritated, flare up skin problems. There is also a Redness Solutions Soothing Cleanser and an Urgent Relief Cream. I am heading down to The Bay downtown. The Bay carries all the Clinique productions and I figure, even if it doesn't help, it is one of my favourite brands so it's not going to waste. I have also gotten high recommendations for a product from Australia called "Lucas PawPaw Ointment" which is not sold in Canada, so ordered that on the internet (turns out to be cheaper to order on the internet than to get friends in Australia to buy it and then ship it). Also, a product made in Quebec (Canada), which I also ordered online -- Olivier Mon Bebe Skin cream. I have not seen it here in Vancouver, so what the heck, I've ordered it online as well :)

I have no idea if any of these products will work because at this point I have no idea how severe a rash I will get. Hahaha... with my luck, I will have spent all this money and will get a very mild, if none, rash and will have all these lovely products with nothing to use them for :) One can always hope!! LOL!

Cheryl

Vickilg's picture
Vickilg
Posts: 281
Joined: Jan 2011

Hi there... the antibiotic works really well. Also, I was told to wash my face with a dandruff shampoo like Head & Shoulders. Between the two the acne would clear up in a couple of days. I wouldn't take the antibiotics unless there was a breakout so she doesn't have to take it the whole time.

Big hug!

Vicki

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