Hydrogel Sheets and Cooler Rolls for Radiation Burn Care and Comfort

By Margot Malin, Founder and CEO, Lots To Live For, Inc.

There are a number of products to help heal and soothe radiation burns. Most people are acquainted with ointments, lotions and sprays. Flying under the radar are another set of items in the tool box: hydrogel sheets and cooler rolls. We will educate you about these products in this post.

Gel sheets are a handy and noninvasive product that can be used for radiation burn care. They help to soothe and calm radiation burns. Some of our customers tell us they provide incredible relief from pain and itching and that allows them to continue with daily chores and especially to sleep at night! The great thing about gel sheets is that they can be left on for long periods of time (for some people, up to 3 days though most people change them more frequently) and they provide continuous relief. They can also be used in conjunction with lotions and sprays.

Two different types of hydrogel products are CoolMagic Gel Sheets and Lindiskin Cooler Rolls.

CoolMagic Hydrogel Sheets come in 2 sizes: 3.75 inches x 3.75 inches OR 6 inches x 8 inches (10 per box) and they can be trimmed to the appropriate size.

  • This light-weight, see-through polymer sheet provides instant cooling to burns, abrasions, skin tears, radiation reactions and sensitive wounds, effectively reducing pain.
  • The sterile hydrogel polymer sheet consists of 90% water, 10% inactive crosslinked polyethylene oxide matrix, and it transfers heat away from the wound, providing a cooling effect.
  • Cooling action relieves pain of burning, itching, or sore skin
  • Can be refrigerated for greater cooling capacity
  • Allows oxygen flow while preventing bacteria or foreign material from entering wound.

CoolMagic is mentioned enthusiastically in several cancer blogs by cancer patients who have used these dressings and received relief. (ie. cancercompass.com)

Suggestions for use of CoolMagic gel sheets:

  1. Apply over wound for a cool, soothing effect.
  2. Change the dressing every 24 to 36 hours. They should be discarded after use.
  3. Hold in place with tape or stretch gauze (you may or may not need tape or gauze).

CoolMagic gel sheets receive rave customer reviews. Here are 2 sample reviews from customers:
perfect wound dressing for radiation burns 5 Star Review (2/2015)

“I only wish we had found this website and this product earlier in my father’s skin cancer journey. The large burned area was very difficult to protect and even soft cotton handkerchiefs stuck to the wound or creams. The 6×8 hydrogel dressing is easy to apply and comes away easily without sticking to the wound. Dad finds relief the minute this dressing is applied. I wish I had known about this when treating pressure sores some months ago. This will be a vital part of my first aid kit from now on.”

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent product, expensive, but well worth it. (8/2016)

“Recovering from radiation burns I was so fortunate to have found these pads available online.”

DO NOT USE CoolMagic FOR: Full Thickness Wounds, Infected Wounds or 3rd Degree Burns.

Another option is the LindiSkin Cooler Roll, which are more economical.

LindiSkin Coolers provide intense relief to areas that are burned or dehydrated. They are designed to soothe compromised skin with the natural cooling and moisturizing effects of water and aloe vera in gentle non-adhesive dressings designed to be applied after radiation therapy.

Skin Coolers are especially effective on hyper-sensitive, compromised skin. They can be used on radiation dermatitis, sunburn, “hot flashes”, or itchy, dry skin. During radiation therapy, skin should always be washed and free of any product. Skin Coolers should be used after each treatment.

To relieve areas that are burned or dehydrated, look to the immediate cooling comfort and intense hydration of the LindiSkin Cooler Roll. The natural properties of water and aloe vera combine to help soothe any compromised area and promote a moist, healing environment for healthy skin. Leave on area for 20-45 minutes. LindiSkin Cooler Roll is designed to be custom cut for your needs and conform to the size and shape of the wound. Simply cut, apply to skin and then discard after one-time use.

The size of the LindiSkin Cooler Roll is – 1 roll (4 in x 60 in)

Both products can be refrigerated before use, but they don’t have to be. They will naturally adhere to the skin, and peel off easily when you want to remove them. Neither product is suggested for use on broken skin.

Additional creams. lotions and sprays which are very popular and can be used in conjunction with gel sheets include: RADX Radiation Therapy Cream (contains 2% lidocaine for pain relief), MPM Regenecare Gel or Spray (also contains lidocaine), CV Skinlabs Rescue & Relief Spray (no lidocaine) or My Girls Cream (no lidocaine).

Lots To Live For, Inc. was created with the belief that everyone should be as comfortable as possible during cancer treatment. We offer you the tools to provide relief and enhance your comfort. “Patients are naturally more satisfied when they are empowered through knowledge,” says Rodney Ganey. We hope the information about, and the knowledge and use of these products during treatment will help to satisfy and empower you during your treatment.

Tips For Oral Health While Undergoing Chemotherapy and Radiation

By Margot Malin, Founder, CEO and President of Lots To Live For, Inc. 
 

Chemotherapy and oncology radiation can cause oral complications.  In fact, oral complications from radiation to the head and neck or chemotherapy are extremely common and can compromise quality of life and affect the patient’s ability to complete his or her treatment protocol. Therefore, it is important to be aware of some of the side effects to the mouth, gums, and teeth that can result from cancer treatment.  In this blog post we offer some helpful tips so that you can be adequately prepared.  To simplify the discussion we have organized this post into 3 parts: Part One – Before Beginning Chemo and Radiation; Part Two – Probable Oral Side Effects; Part Three – Tips for Maintaining Oral Health and Comfort Including Product Suggestions

Mouth_Kote

 Before Beginning Chemotherapy and Radiation

Approximately one month prior to starting a cancer treatment protocol it is a good idea to have an oral assessment from a dentist. This visit is often called “pretreatment” oral care. It allows for prompt identification and treatment of existing infections or other problems. It is also a good idea to have on oral prophylaxis (cleaning). Oral surgery should be timed at least two weeks prior to starting myelosuppressive chemotherapy.

Probable Oral Side Effects from Chemo and Radiation

Once chemo and / or radiation has begun, probably side effects with affect the mouth and gums may include:

  1. Oral mucositis/stomatitis or inflammation and ulceration of the mucus membranes.
  2. Infection – viral, bacterial or fungal infections may occur
  3. Xerostomia also known as dry mouth, is caused by salivary gland dysfunction. Persistent dry mouth increases the risk of dental issues.
  4. Mouth sores may develop
  5. Functional disabilities such as an impaired ability to eat, taste, swallow and speak
  6. Dental decay and demineralization – decay and erosion of the tooth’s surface as a result of changes in both the quality and quantity of saliva from cancer treatment
  7. Bleeding due to decreased platelets

biotene_mouth_spray

Tips for Maintaining Oral Health and Decreasing Side Effects During Treatment

  1. Gently brush your teeth, gums and the tongue with an extra soft toothbrush after every meal and before bed.  You can use toothpastes that are specially formulated for cancer patients such as Biotene Toothpaste – which contains natural salivary enzymes that boost and replenish your oral defense system.
  2. Take small bites of food, chew slowly and sip liquids with and between meals.
  3. Avoid sharp, crunchy foods that can scrape or cut your sensitive mouth and gums.
  4. To relieve dry mouth use a saliva substitute such as a mouth moisturizing product (such as Oral Balance, or MouthKote) or oral rinse. Do not use any products containing alcohol as an ingredient.
  5. Avoid hard, sugar candy and carbonated soda. You can use sugarless candy to help hydrate your mouth.
  6. Chew Biotene Dry Mouth Sugar-Free Gum to stimulate salivary flow and protect between brushes.
  7. Use a cool mist moisturizer at night.
  8. Keep your lips moist with a gentle lip balm (Lindiskin Lip Balm or 7 Balm, for example)
  9. You may need supplemental fluoride – as directed and prescribed by your dentist.

“To be forewarned is to be forearmed” as the saying goes:  advance warning provides an advantage. Being aware of the potential for oral issues during cancer treatment is the first step, and has been accomplished by reading this blog piece. Being proactive is one of the best solutions.  If you are prepared and know what to expect, you can be extra vigilant with oral care. You can see a dentist before you start your cancer treatment protocol. You can choose your foods carefully. Keep your mouth hydrated by drinking and sipping fluids. You can purchase special products which will be helpful to maintaining your oral health prior to commencing your treatment. Maintain a dialog with both your dentist, oncologist, and oncology nurses during treatment. Try to address any oral care issues that arise promptly, so your treatment protocol is not interrupted.

lindiskin_lip_balm

You can purchase a variety of products for oral care during cancer treatment on the website www.LotsToLiveFor.com. There is a special section on the website dedicated to oral care products.  Cancer treatment can be physically, mentally, and emotionally draining. Techniques and products to reduce side effects can help make the process more comfortable and hopefully improve your frame of mind, your energy, and hopefully your overall outcome. At Lots To Live For, Inc. we provide products and resources related to cancer side effect solutions which can help you maintain your normal lifestyle during your treatment.

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