Yes, the "hand/foot syndrome" is a very common side-effect of Xeloda, even on monotherapy (on combo drugs it would still be the Xeloda that caused this particular side-effect). I was on Xeloda mono also, and my feet got what we called "moldy" looking (lots of dark spots all over). When it got really bad, the bottom of my feet felt very (what I called) "blistery" too. Stingy and like I was walking on blisters all the time. I used UREA Cream (practitioner strength). I bought it in the oncology pharmacy. Put in on 3 times a day. It's made for diabetics as I understand it, but is also found to be excellent for hand/foot. It's thick like the others, but not as difficult to absorb or quite so greasy. Also has a fairly pleasant smell. Nothing overpowering. I don't know if the hand/foot syndrome is what causes the peeling, or the constant slathering of cream, but it's pretty common as others have chimed in on.
Lowering the dosage is probably the most common way to deal with it. Believe it or not, upping your water intake really helps a lot too. Seems too easy, right? But it really does work. Xeloda leaves the body via the urine, so drinking more flushes more out before it can settle in those small capillaries that are in the palms and foot bottoms. Another option might be to ask your oncologist if they would be willing to try you on a 1 week on / 1 week off regimen. Some recent studies have shown that you hit max effectiveness of Xeloda at 8 days, and after that just increase side effects without getting any more benefit (you can find one of the articles on this at http://www.nature.com/articles/npjbcancer20166
- although they focused on gastrointestinal side-effects). However, as this regimen is not the standard of care yet, some oncologists won't do it. Mine wouldn't. I will be honest and tell you that I decided to go to this regimen on my own after doing research on it.
I've been off chemo since early October, and my feet feel pretty much back to normal, although I still have some spots of skin on my feet that are recovering. I figure this is still my body working out toxins and damaged skin cells. Of course I have also now been diagnosed as pre-diabetic (thanks, chemo) - so that probably plays in also.
Hope this info helps.
I did a lot of Xeloda research before and during my treatment. Feel free to ask away.
Hugs and Prayers,