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Part II: Cancer and Skin Changes—Altered Sensation
By: Patricia Ringos Beach and Katie Morgan-Lousky
Posted: March 30, 2012, from the April 2012 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
When working with cancer clients, be sure to use cotton linens and be careful not to crowd their personal space.
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Clients who are struggling with sensory problems during cancer treatment tend to not continue a skin care regimen at home. Often, they will say that they’re afraid it will only make their sensory issues worse. You, as an esthetician, are the skin care expert, and the one who knows skin health and nutrition. Help your clients make a plan for skin care at home. Following are several possible recommendations.
- Recommend teas to be used as compresses; use about a tablespoon of tea to a quart of water.
- Use gel serums instead of creams, oils or lotions.
- Think creatively to overcome any obstacles.
Improve their quality of life
When working with clients who suffer with cancer, perspective is critical. (See Is It Hard Working With Cancer Clients?) Chemotherapy often successfully destroys or controls cancer that has metastasized; however, its side effects can be overwhelming. Peripheral neuropathy and other skin-sensation changes negatively impact the quality of life of these clients. Cool, soothing spa treatments can help improve it, as was evidenced by a letter the spa received from Robin after her services that stated: “God bless you and your angel-wing hands.”
Patricia Ringos Beach is a nurse, speaker and author with advanced certification in oncology and palliative care. In Toledo, Ohio, she works as a patient navigator and clinical nurse specialist.
Katie Morgan-Lousky is the owner of Ahava Spa and Wellness Center in Toledo, Ohio. She also founded Cherished Friends of Ahava, a ministry where cancer patients can receive spa services with sensitivity to their vulnerability and special needs. The authors can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.