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Skin Care With Compassion

By: Teresa Paquin
Posted: June 9, 2008, from the December 2006 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

page 4 of 5

Possible side effects experienced by cancer patients include increased oiliness, dryness, pigmentation, increased or decreased facial hair, and inflammation. Suggest appropriate services—such as hydrating, anti-aging, acne-clearing or aromatherapy facials—based on their skin type. Body-exfoliating and spray-tanning services also can be offered.

Hair. Before any hair loss occurs, suggest that the client snip a lock of their hair and save it. Also, urge them to take a close-up snapshot of their face to preserve their eyebrow shape and coloring.

When they start to lose their hair, ask them if they might like to try wearing a turban, a stylish scarf or other headwear accessories that could be coordinated with their clothing and brighten their facial features. If the client is bothered by losing handfuls of hair and is amenable, suggest a buzz cut. When hair loss begins, clients also can wear sleeping caps to catch shedding hair.

Explain how the scalp can become sensitive, and advise washing it with a mild shampoo—preferably one designed for dry, damaged hair. Urge them to pat their scalp dry, instead of rubbing it. Recommend that they cover their scalp when outdoors and always wear a sunscreen. This also is a good time to suggest scheduling relaxing scalp treatments. Let clients know that it normally can take six months to one year for their hair to grow back adequately. It most likely will not start to come in fully until chemotherapy treatments have been completed.

In the meantime, they may experience scalp sensitivity and fragile new hair growth. Recommend that they use a satin pillowcase when sleeping. Tell them to avoid treatments such as coloring or permanents until the hair is at least 3 inches long and the scalp is no longer sensitive. Have them continue to shampoo and condition with gentle products. For those who really want to dye their hair, offer a gentle alternative, such as semipermanent color. Do not use bleach to lighten any initial hair regrowth.