Scalp Cooling Caps May Prevent Hair Loss In Women Having Chemotherapy

Posted: Feb 15 2017, 9:30am CST | by , in News | Latest Science News

 
Scalp Cooling Caps may Prevent Hair Loss in Women Having Chemotherapy
Baylor College of Medicine research coordinator Claudette Foreman demonstrates scalp-cooling cap that may prevent chemotherapy-induced hair loss in some cancer patients. Photo Credit: Baylor College of Medicine
  • Scalp Cooling Caps may prevent Falling Hair among Females undergoing Chemotherapy

It has been found that scalp cooling caps may prevent falling hair among females undergoing chemotherapy sessions.

Two studies have shown that women who undergo hair loss during breast cancer treatment may not have to face this traumatizing act if they use scalp cooling caps during the course of the chemotherapy sessions.

For women especially, the loss of those thick locks of beautiful hair come as quite a shock. Yet scalp cooling caps have come to the rescue. They are best employed before, during and after chemotherapy.

The disease known as alopecia, that is a concomitant symptom of chemotherapy, has been a horror that countless females have suffered. Yet by cooling the scalp, the blood flow to the region is reduced thereby mitigating any chemotherapeutic agents that reach the scalp.

The hair follicles are thus not damaged. The refrigerant liquid circulating in the cap ensures that the scalp is kept in a very cold condition. The cap is normally fitted on top of the patient’s scalp and not removed for the full duration of the treatment.

While scalp cooling caps have been used in the preventative measures taken against alopecia, their efficacy remains partially doubtful.

In one study, a scalp cooling cap group and a control group were compared to each other. The efficacy levels were studied by the time four cycles of chemotherapy were over.

It was found that those patients who received scalp cooling treatment were 50% less likely to lose their hair as compared to those who didn’t receive the special treatment.

There were very few adverse effects in the group who received scalp cooling cap treatment too. It’s been a couple of decades since scalp cooling technology has been used in Europe.

In the United States though it has not been adopted on a wholescale basis. The research work on scalp cooling caps is scant and the stamp of approval from the FDA has not been given just yet.

Most of the research and studies on the subject show that the only side effects of scalp cooling caps were headaches due to the cold temperatures of the caps or uneasiness due to the previously mentioned reason.

These two studies that examine hair loss among women with breast cancer who received scalp cooling before, during and after chemotherapy, got published in the February 14 issue of JAMA.

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