Caring for Healthy Skin

    Skin is the largest organ of the body and doesn't receive the care and attention like the heart, lung, kidney and liver.  Skin is made up of several layers, the top few layers are referred to as the epidermis   Skin has many important functions including protecting the bottom layers, the dermis, which contain important structures such as sweat glands and hair follicles.  Skin helps to protect internal organs by keeping everything in tact, stops anything from leaking in or out of the body and protects from invaders like germs and free radicals.  Skin shields us from the damaging rays of the sun and protects the melanin, which gives us our skin color.  Not the most important function, but the top skin cells act as your "face" to the world.  Practicing good skin care habits maintain these functions and keeps our body strong and protected.  Skin care and skin care treatments are considered a luxury when in fact they are a necessity.

      Caring for Compromised Skin

      People who are suffering from cancer and other serious illnesses are treated with surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and a number of non-cancerous medications.  These treatments work to attack the fast growing cells causing damage within the body.  However, because skin, hair and nails are constantly renewing and changing, ie fast growing cells, these treatments can cause damaging affects and deplete essential nutrients from the skin.  In fact, there are more than 52 hair, nail, and skin effects that are known to result from undergoing cancer treatments.  By using high levels of skin nutrients, including essential oils, offering treatments with sedative skin manipulations and an appropriate time limit for treatments, the skin will experience an improvement in quality and rate of repair, drainage of edema and reduction in inflammation.

        Possible Side Effects

        Some skin side effects that may be experienced:

        • Extreme Dryness
        • Rash
        • Nail Changes
        • Thinning of Skin
        • Hyperpigmentation
        • Burns
        • Scarring
        • Redness
        • Neuropathy 
        • Hot and Cold
        • Acne
        • Itchiness
        • Pain

          Pre-Disposed Factors Contributing to Skin Related Side Effects

          • Type and dose of chemotherapy or radiation.
          • How often receiving medication.
          • Way medication is administered.
          • Other diseases or medical conditions.
          • Person's activity level.
          • Type of Cancer
          • Age, weight and gender
          • Radiation burns

           Important Precautions

          • Seek out an Aesthetician who holds certification in Oncology Aesthetics.
          • Skin therapy treatments cannot be administered 48 hours before or after a chemotherapy infusion. 
          • An intensive intake form should be discussed between the client and Aesthetician for a better understanding of type of cancer, treatments, medications, skin effects etc.
          • Using products free of fragrances, parabens, phthalates and containing non-carcinogenic ingredients is extremely important.
          • Sanitation and infectious disease control is paramount.  Environment should be extremely clean and sterile as well as spa bed and sheets.  Disposable materials should be used and the clinician should wear gloves and mask if necessary.