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Our earlier blog was an insight on how the process of scalp cooling helps in preventing/minimizing hair loss during chemotherapy treatments. In this article, we will try and bring out more facts based on research evidence to show how chemo caps are used effectively as safe and proven measures for scalp cooling.
When Catherine found out that she was in the first stage of breast cancer, her main worry and concern was that, she was now going to lose her hair. At that point of time, it seemed scarier and took over the fear and pain of the actual treatment.
When the chemotherapy nurse told her about scalp cooling, she also mentioned that scalp cooling was not applicable in certain types of cancer! Catherine decided to try out chemo caps.
Catherine was also worried about the feedback she had received in regard to a scalp cooling machine also used for this purpose. She found the Arctic Heat cooling caps were nothing like what she had been told. The Arctic Heat caps were very comfortable to wear and the cooling was most tolerable through the whole process. Another plus with the Arctic Heat caps is that the patient buys and owns them. So, they can commence the cooling process on the way to the infusion complete the post cooling on the way home. The cooling can be continued that evening to get an even better cooling benefit.
Catherine did lose some hair in the first few sessions but maintained about 70% and found the regrowth was very quick. The Arctic Heat cooling caps proved to be comfortable, convenient and an effective way of scalp cooling for hair retention during chemotherapy.
She could continue with her cancer treatment looking ‘normal’ to her two children and couldn’t be more thankful for having chosen to use cooling caps through her Chemotherapy treatment.
Following are the tips that are given by her and more women who have used scalp cooling:
Take a paracetamol, an hour before the chemotherapy starts
For the initial 10 – 15 minutes, some discomfort may be experienced. Shut your eyes, relax and practice deep breathing. Slowly and gradually, any discomfort will pass.
Also, try using a light blanket in the initial stages if feeling cool.
Follow a hair care routine (that has already been mentioned in our earlier blog and also available on the Arctic Heat website)
Use silk pillowcases while sleeping and tie your hair with scrunchies.
The cooling caps need to be pulled down firmly onto the scalp and then fastened with the ties to keep them firm fitting. If necessary, take help from professionals. Call us if you have any queries.
About Arctic Heat chemo caps
Arctic Heat was founded and developed by Shane Williams in 2000 with the aim of manufacturing high quality cooling products for individuals from various walks of life, including athletes, medical technicians, healthcare workers, medical patients and much more.
Scalp cooling or ‘cooling caps”, were developed with the aim of combatting chemotherapy induced hair loss so that cancer patients are able to achieve high level of hair retention or even completely preserve their hair, if possible! The idea was to enable patients to regain their control and maintain the much-needed privacy and at the same time have a positive attitude towards the treatment.
Arctic Heat cooling caps are a snug fitting, under the chin tie-on, cap. The caps are made from 2 quick dry fabrics with pockets of crystal. Prior to use the caps are soaked in water for 10 minutes and dried so you have a dry cap with gel sausage pockets. The caps are placed in the freezer and ready to use at the time of infusion. They come in a pack of 3, 4 or 5 caps that are used alternately during chemotherapy sessions. It is recommended that the chemo caps be used before, during and after the treatment. It is advisable to consult your doctor about the length of the infusion so that enough caps can be cooled and kept ready for the required time.
Scalp cooling works by narrowing the blood vessels beneath the skin of the scalp and thus reducing the amount of chemotherapy medicine that reaches the hair follicles. Less chemotherapy medicine in the follicles would mean a reduction in hair fall. Also, the cold decreases the activity of the hair follicles, which slows down cell division and makes them less affected by the chemotherapy medicine.
Activation of chemo caps
The product has to be initially soaked in water for 5- 10 minutes so that the crystal in pockets swell into gel form. Note that the pockets should be firm but not bursting. When it is taken out, it should be twisted in opposite directions to shed the extra water. It then has to be wiped vigorously with a towel and hung out to ensure that it is completely dry. The dried caps should then be placed in the freezer for at least 2-3 hrs.to achieve maximum cooling. Take them from the freezer and place in the fridge a couple of hours prior to using. If the pockets are har frozen they may be broken up with your fingers to mold to the shape of the head. Make sure to use a cooler bag while transporting / storing the caps and covering the caps with an ice block until the time they are put to use.
How to use them:
First and foremost, ensure that the cooling cap should be tight fitting so that it touches the scalp. The product must be worn at least 30/45 mins prior to the infusion and one cap should be worn through the duration of the treatment. The caps will need to be change every 45/60 minutes to ensure continuous, effective cooling. Make sure the change happens as quickly as possible to avoid dilation of blood vessels. The cooling caps should be used during the entire period of chemotherapy and post the infusion time for at least an hour. It is advised to have 3 to 5 cooling caps for the entire process. It is fine if you notice some hair loss; just make sure to increase your post cooling time in case that happens. Always store the chemo caps in the freezer so that they can be used as and when required.
Consult your radiation oncologist to understand whether chemo caps suit your requirement or get in touch with us to know more details.
Full details and instructions at the following link: https://www.arcticheat.com.au/product/chemokit/