Bloomington / Normal, IL

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Feeling Beautiful While Going Through Cancer Treatments


By Jamie Wielgopolan

Experiencing cancer treatments can be terrifying. Many times, it’s the unknown that scares people the most. Cancer treatments can cause many skin-related side effects such as radiation burns, lymphedema, or dermatitis. Uncertainty over how their skin will react to treatment can cause added anxiety. Thankfully, there is a new certification program in oncology esthetics for spa professionals to help cancer patients cope with these changes.

Training in oncology esthetics includes knowledge of the disease, common side effects of treatments, and the skills and modifications necessary to ensure effective and safe facial treatments for cancer survivors and people undergoing cancer treatment. Jessica Pople, a licensed esthetician who is also nationally certified in oncology esthetics at Fox & Hounds Hair Studio & Day Spa, says that: “The treatments help bring people’s skin back into balance. All of the standard treatments can be modified for each individual’s needs.”

Each facial is different, but they typically include complimentary consultation and skin analysis, cleansing, possible exfoliation, and a mask. Although these services are common skin care treatments, they are specialized for cancer patients and survivors. They can help improve conditions such as radiation burns, hypersensitivity, and dry or itchy skin.

Because each person is unique and there is often a psychological effect of cancer treatment, Jessica takes extra time to get to know her clients to best determine what will fit their needs. Not only are the treatments customizable, but even the spa room is customized for cancer patients and survivors. The spa room is prepped with extra pillows, special wraps with no elastic, head wraps for warmth, extra blankets, ginger drops for nausea, or whatever is needed to make people comfortable. Most importantly, the customization of each treatment allows Jessica to provide a safe service to her clients.

Just as cancer treatment is ever changing and evolving, oncology estheticians are always improving their knowledge and skills. Jessica declares, “I am always reading and researching; oncology esthetics is fairly new, so new developments are always on the rise.” She also has more than 12 years of experience in the health care industry. Her past and current paths are a fusion of her greatest passions — helping people and skin care. “Oncology esthetics improves clients’ skin. It is also a time for people undergoing cancer therapies to relax, get away, and feel better about themselves. I love helping people — if someone can take that hour to feel good in a safe spa environment — that’s a wonderful thing.”

Look Good Feel Better
Jessica has also learned a lot from the Look Good Feel Better program. Look Good Feel Better is a non-medical public service program that teaches beauty techniques to cancer patients to help them manage the appearance-related side effects of cancer treatment. Its mission is to improve the self-esteem and quality of life in people undergoing treatment for cancer. As a volunteer, Jessica has heard firsthand stories of how important it is for people with cancer and cancer survivors to have a positive self-image, inside and out.

“I love helping people and being a shining light in others’ lives. What I love about Look Good Feel Better is bringing joy in any capacity to someone’s life. Making them feel better about themselves is incredibly rewarding.”

For more information about oncology esthetics, please call Fox & Hounds Hair Studio & Day Spa at 309-829-0482.

Photo credit: gitusik/Thinkstock