- Question from Makati: Swimming would erase even the most waterproof brows when accidentally rubbed when drying off or preventing irritating salt water or chlorinated water from getting in your eyes. What can I do if I don't tattoo them?
Maria Theodoulou, M.D.
One of the most important things is to avoid any makeup that's placed in order to make an eyebrow. One of the things that one can do in order to have some freedom from the threat of an eyebrow washing away is to try to swim early in the morning, or later in the day when the water is less populated and that concern may be a lesser problem.
The way one looks is such a problem, especially when we're feeling vulnerable and wearing a swimsuit. But tattooing can be a problem, not only from the issue of possible infections, but just the overall health and integrity of the skin being approached with a tattoo. It's important to speak with some of the cosmetic people to find out if there are some waterproof products you can use for your brows, or decide not to submerge if you have to, or swim in water that is less irritating. This is not to take away from the absolute joy of swimming in the summer, or not appearing how you want to if the water washes away your makeup. Again if it's important for you to put your head under water, try those off-hour swims when there aren't as many people there. Try to avoid being the middle of crowds of people so you don't feel more exposed.
- Marisa Weiss, M.D. You might also try using big sunglasses that would cover that area of your face. Also, some women have found temporary tattooed eyebrows to be a good option. These tend to stay on during swimming, but need to be augmented every week or so.
- Tamara Shulman, Ph.D., FAACP I wanted to add that while you're in treatment, it can really feel that it's going to be forever. It feels like it is forever, and that it's taking over your life. But in fact, it's a time-limited period and it can make sense to adapt to swimming early in the day and other suggestions that have been made. Try the side stroke or breast stroke where you don't have to put your face in the water. And realize that this will not be forever, but something you can do to make this summer more relaxing for you.
The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Summertime Issues: Treatment and Personal Care featured Maria Theodoulou, M.D., Tamara Shulman, Ph.D., and moderator Marisa Weiss, M.D. answering your questions about the various summertime issues that relate to breast cancer treatment and personal care.
Editor's Note: This conference took place in June 2005.
The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.
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