Cold caps treatment is essentially a scalp hypothermia treatment that requires you to wear cold caps with ice packs on your head. Wearing a cold cap cools your scalp before, during, and after each chemotherapy treatment. The science behind cold caps lies in its ability to constrict blood vessels in your scalp. This activity then reduces the chemo amounts that reach your hair follicles' cells and subsequently reduces hair loss. The chemo drugs are not affected by the cold caps as the drugs easily flow throughout your body to annihilate cancerous cells.
When Not To Use Cold Caps
If you've had prior chemotherapy infusions, experts recommend that you do not consider using cold caps, which is also referred to as scalp hypothermia. In the event you have cancers such as melanoma, lymphomas, leukemia and multiple myeloma, researchers advise that you do not use cold cap treatment.
Hair Thickness Disadvantage
The thickness of your hair could affect the success of wearing cold caps. Scientists explain that patients with thick hair are at a disadvantage when they use cold caps. Your thick hair does not adequately cool down enough due to your hair's insulating effect. Good contact with your scalp is therefore not made by the cold caps.
Proper Fitting Cold Cap
Note also that you should wear a proper fitting cold cap. Caps that do not fit properly can also cause you to experience more hair loss. That happens in areas where the cap does not make contact with your scalp. The FDA has put its stamp of approval on a Swedish version of cold caps and cleared it for use in America, and it is a two cap design cooling system. This particular cooling cap is controlled by a computer that aids circulation of a cool liquid into the cap you wear during your chemo treatment. The second cap in this design is fashioned from neoprene. Neoprene is made from synthetic rubber, and this product ensures a good fit for the cooling cap. The covering cap holds the cooling cap in place and prevents any cold temperature from escaping.
Discuss Use Of Cold Caps With Your Oncologist
Should you require chemotherapy, you'll be scheduled to meet with your oncologist to talk about your treatment scheduling. Use this opportunity to tell your oncologist about what you've learned about chemotherapy cold caps. Ask whether it might be a good idea for you to wear the caps while undergoing chemo treatment.