Mesothelioma and Skin Rashes: Understanding the Connection

Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive form of cancer that is caused by exposure to asbestos. It affects the lining of the lungs, abdomen, and heart, and can take decades to develop following exposure to asbestos fibers. While mesothelioma is primarily associated with respiratory problems, skin rashes are also a common symptom of this disease.

What Causes Skin Rashes in Mesothelioma?

The link between mesothelioma and skin rashes is not yet fully understood, but researchers believe that it may be due to the body's immune response to the disease. Asbestos fibers can damage the immune system, which in turn can cause the body to react with rashes, hives, and other skin problems. In addition, some mesothelioma treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy, can also cause skin rashes and other skin problems. These treatments can damage the skin's outer layers and make it more sensitive to irritants, which can lead to rashes and other skin issues.

What Do Mesothelioma-related Skin Rashes Look Like?

There are several different types of skin rashes that can be associated with mesothelioma. These include:
  • Petechiae: these are tiny red or purple spots on the skin caused by bleeding under the skin
  • Erythema: this is a reddening of the skin that can occur in patches or all over the body
  • Urticaria: this is also known as hives, and it causes swelling, itching, and redness of the skin
  • Folliculitis: this is an inflammation of the hair follicles, which can cause a rash or pimples on the skin

How Do You Treat Mesothelioma-related Skin Rashes?

The treatment of mesothelioma-related skin rashes depends on the severity and type of rash. Mild rashes can often be treated with over-the-counter creams and ointments that soothe the skin and reduce itching and inflammation. Antihistamines can also be used to reduce itching and help you sleep better at night. More severe rashes may require prescription creams or medication. In some cases, you may need to stop or adjust your mesothelioma treatment in order to address skin problems.

Prevention of Mesothelioma-related Skin Rashes

Preventing mesothelioma-related skin rashes requires a multifaceted approach that involves identifying and avoiding the triggers that can cause this condition. If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, your healthcare team can help you develop a plan to protect your skin. Some tips for preventing skin rashes in mesothelioma patients include:
  • Avoiding skin irritants like perfumes, harsh soaps, and hot water
  • Wearing loose-fitting clothing made of natural fibers like cotton or bamboo
  • Using sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun's damaging rays
  • Keeping your skin moisturized with a gentle, fragrance-free lotion
  • Avoiding scratching your skin, as this can lead to infection and other complications
In addition, it's important to have regular checkups with your healthcare team so that they can monitor your skin and identify any potential problems as early as possible.


In conclusion, while it's not entirely clear why mesothelioma can cause skin rashes, there is a clear connection between these two conditions. If you are living with mesothelioma and experiencing skin rashes or other skin problems, it's important to talk to your healthcare team and develop a plan to protect your skin and manage any symptoms you may be experiencing. By taking a proactive approach to your skin health, you can manage your mesothelioma more effectively and improve your overall quality of life.