Cold Capping: How Dry Ice Can Help Chemotherapy Patients

Cold Capping: How Dry Ice Can Help Chemotherapy Patients 

One of the more dramatic side effects commonly associated with chemotherapy is hair loss. Cold capping is believed to have helped cancer patients mitigate hair loss while in treatment since it started being used in the 1970s. With dry ice available to most consumers, cold capping is an option worth discussing with your physician. 

What is Cold Capping? 

Cold capping is a non-invasive and drug-free treatment that can reduce major hair loss for chemotherapy patients. Cold caps are made to fit tightly on the patient’s head and are filled with either an extremely cold gel or dry ice. The coldness of the gel is believed to reduce the metabolic rate of hair follicles, which may help reduce the amount of therapy absorbed into the hair bulbs during treatments. 

Keeping Cold Caps Cool with Dry Ice

For cold caps to be effective, they need to be stored in extremely cold temperatures that cannot be reached by a freezer (between -20 to -30 degrees Fahrenheit). While biomedical freezers can reach these temperatures, dry ice has the unique ability to properly chill some types of cold caps in a mess-free, accessible and cost-effective way. 

Why People Choose Cold Capping

Many oncologists have begun suggesting cold capping as a part of cancer treatment, acknowledging how personal appearance impacts how patients feel, which affects how quickly they may recover. However, looking good is typically last on the list of reasons for wanting to reduce hair loss. Patients often begin cold capping to get back to normal as soon as possible and have more control over who knows about their diagnosis. For many, cold capping simply provides a better feeling of control.

In 2017, the FDA approved the use of cold caps for cancer patients with solid tumors, and studies have shown that over half of female chemotherapy patients who used cold caps lost less than half of their hair. While extremely cold temperatures can make the treatments uncomfortable, many patients are happy with the results.

Be sure to discuss cold capping with your oncology team

Are you considering cold capping as part of your chemotherapy treatment? The American Cancer Society recommends discussing the pros and cons of this therapy with your doctor.  To find Penguin Brand Dry Ice® near you, please use our convenient store locator tool.


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