Cryotherapy is when you expose an area of the body to cold. This cooling effect decreases blood flow to the area.
Uses of Cryotherapy
Prevent hair loss: Some people use cryotherapy to prevent hair loss. This is done by applying cold to the scalp. This is called scalp cooling or cold caps. There is good evidence that this works to prevent hair loss or reduce hair thinning during some chemotherapy regimens.
Prevent nerve problems: Taxane medicines have a side effect of nerve problems in the hands and feet. This is called peripheral neuropathy. Studies have been done in people getting taxane medicines to see if cryotherapy can prevent these nerve problems. These studies did not show a clear benefit. Given this, cryotherapy is not supported as a way to prevent neuropathy for people taking taxanes.
Preventing Nerve Problems When Taking Taxane Medicines
There is not an effective way to prevent this side effect. Cryotherapy on your hands and feet is not recommended.