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Beauty Treatment Therapies for Cancer Patients

By: Sarah Clark (ILEX) - Updated: 31 Aug 2019 | comments*Discuss
Beauty Treatments Patients Patient

When you are – or someone you know is – going through the rigours of cancer treatment, you might think that the last thing of any importance is a beauty pampering treatment. But in fact, taking care of yourself and giving yourself a bit of a lift can be a real boost.

Keeping Things as Normal As Possible

When you’re going through cancer treatment, things can feel as if they are upside down and nothing’s going to be normal again – so it’s important to maintain some semblance of normality in your everyday routine where you can. It can lift your spirits to slap on some make up, give your skin a deep moisture treatment or an all over body scrub. After all – you’re worth it!

Taking Care of Your Skin

If you’re thinking of going for a facial to lift your spirits, go for a deep moisturising, creamy cleansing facial, not anything harsh. Explain to the therapist that you’re a cancer patient and that you’re looking for something that’s going to revitalise your skin – which can dry out during harsh chemotherapy or radiotherapy.

Ask for a non-stimulating, alcohol-free toner and finish with a rich and gentle moisturiser. It’s best not to have any exfoliating treatments as they can be too harsh for delicate skin – you might find that as well as drying out, your skin could become sensitised to some treatments. It’s all about being kind to yourself and your skin when you have cancer.

Ask for fragrance and alcohol-free hypoallergenic beauty treatments and products, to take into account your sensitive skin...be gentle on yourself!

Be aware of hygiene – make sure that your therapist uses clean, disposable applicators, sponges and brushes every time. Cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy are at a higher risk of infection because the treatments suppress the body's immune system.

Keep Your Skin Well Protected

It’s even more important to make sure that your skin is protected from the sun if you’re having cancer treatment, so slap on the sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher). Stay away from the sun when it’s at its hottest (11-4pm) cover up where possible and invest in sunglasses and a hat.

Keep Yourself Looking Beautiful!

Some treatments may make you lose your eyebrow hair, or thin it out, and many therapists are skilled in using the right make up to fill in thin brows or recreate them completely. They will also be able to teach you how to do the same for yourself.

Don’t bother using artificial nails or fill ins when you’re having treatment for cancer, as they aren’t recommended at this time. If your nails have discoloured or are looking unhealthy, have a manicure with a funky opaque polish to pep them up, and save the acrylics or gel in fills until your celebration ‘cancer free’ party! Use an acetone-free nail polish remover too.

Your Crowning Glory

Don’t have any colours or highlights in your hair – or any other chemical treatments – during cancer treatment and for up to six months following any chemotherapy or radiotherapy. Make sure that you keep your scalp protected from harmful UV rays with sunscreen or a hat, and if you decide you want to try a wig, keep a lock of your original hair to colour match. Or you could use the opportunity to go for a funky new colour instead?

Rub the Pain Away

Research has actually proved that an aromatherapy massage is beneficial for cancer patients. The results of the research, carried out by Marie Curie Cancer Care using Roman Chamomile essential oil, showed that massage helped to improve cancer patients’ symptoms, and their quality of life. So don’t hold back, book yourself in for a soothing aromatherapy massage and feel pampered all over.

It’s all about keeping things normal in a time of upheaval when you have cancer treatment, and beauty and spa therapists will have been trained in the special requirements of cancer patients, so go ahead, book yourself a treatment, relax and take care of yourself.

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What's the right thing to do as a therapist/ beauty business when a client highlights they're suffering from cancer and are booked in for a treatment? Most places have a strict policy that says: 'get a doctors note', but clients feel humiliated, let down and hurt by this. As a salon owner, we're only doing it to protect them as a duty of care (we're not medically trained to know any better) and of course don't want to risk a claim whichour insurers are unlikely to uphold due to the contraindication. Kindly advise - would a client consent form do, which ensures the client has been told the treatment may not be optimal considering their condition, however they have chosen to have it as they know their condition better. Only worry is whether this would stand in a court of law? Thanks.
VP - 31-Aug-19 @ 2:48 PM
@Harry1978. I have been reading the comments and that is a lovely idea for you to do for your sister. I am a carer an have worked in a care home. Normally a hair dresser comes to the homes every week. You could always ask the manager of the home and see what they say. If not you could research for a mobile hairdresser/Beautician in your area and they would come out and visit your sister. If you can't find one you could always enquire at other care homes for a hairdresser. Hope this helps.
Jodie.1992 - 4-Nov-15 @ 10:38 PM
@Harry1978. What a lovely idea. We don't know of any specifically. Hopefully one of our readers can help, but you could also try posting on a forum/website in the area. We suggest the Nappy Valley site, would be a good place to start, whilst it's for mums, they will almost certainly be able to suggest something.
BeautyTreatmentExpert - 3-Jul-15 @ 9:52 AM
My sister suffered a stroke which has left her somewhat short of physical and lingual ability. She cannot walk without major support and speech is impaired quite a lot. She has been in a nursing home for 2 years and is turning 40 this year. i would like to get her a full beauty treatment as her birthday present. Does anyone know of any companies in north west london (wembley/harrow area) that would go the home and give her a hair cut and may be cut and paint her hand/foot nails?
Harry1978 - 30-Jun-15 @ 2:36 AM
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