Medical patients go through a regular deluge of indignities. Their bodies and their personal details are often on display. When hospitalized, they are often disturbed every few hours in order for nurses to check their vital signs. They are poked, prodded, and sometimes talked over in what is an already stressful situation.

It is unavoidable to endure some of these indignities in order for doctors to address the health issues at hand and work towards healing, but it stings all the same. The final indignity for many trauma patients is that their bodies dramatically shift, whether due to injury, disease, or the treatments they must undergo to stay alive. As a result, they no longer look–or feel–like themselves.

This leaves many patients wondering how to take care of themselves beyond just their medical care. What personal care products are ok to use in the hospital or during recovery to combat dryness, scarring, and even pain? If patients want to continue a skincare regime, to feel normal and beautiful again, what will be effective but still safe on highly-sensitive skin?

The cosmetics industry has made great strides in addressing a globally diverse audience, manufacturing a much wider variety of products for various skin tones and hair types. Moving towards an increasingly personalized experience with beauty products has allowed individuals to feel more comfortable in their own skin. And now, we are starting to see products for even more customers with a dizzying array of hyper-specific skin conditions, including those dealing with serious medical trauma.

Improved manufacturing techniques and the ability to use lower minimum order quantities has allowed for more freedom in innovation. Beauty companies can take more risks in what they offer. This experimentation has led to some great products that give medical patients a chance to deal with the changes coming their way.

Cancer patients are one such group that are suddenly getting access to more options in treating their unique personal care struggles. Chemotherapy, one of the most common treatments for cancer, causes a wide range of side effects for the skin. Dryness, rashes, sores, a change in texture and a sensitivity to sunlight are just some of the skincare issues chemo patients may be facing.

Lindi Skin is one of the brands leading the charge in formulating products specifically meant for Chemo patients. Founder Lindy Snider is a cancer survivor herself, so she uses her lived experience to focus on the real needs of patients. The Lindi Skin line is made to soothe problem areas, and every product is acid, exfoliant, and peeling agent-free. They also avoid heavy scents, which can be irritating.

Burn patients likewise need special personal care products, sometimes for the long-term. Burned skin needs extra moisture, and some burn survivors prefer products that help even out skin tone and cover scarring without leaving skin irritated. The ReVive brand was developed by a plastic surgeon after working with burn survivors. Dr. Brown firmly believes that the technology in his products can help revitalize skin without invasive procedures. Dermablend is another brand catering to medical patients, with heavy makeup targeted at covering scars and irregular pigmentation.

Patients dealing with a long-term hospital stay–planned or unexpected–may feel anxious about being in a new space, recovering from their medical trauma, and having a different routine. While cosmetics are not allowed in surgery, throughout a patient’s recovery, personal care products can usually be brought to their private room (check with the hospital first, of course). Medline makes a petroleum-free lip balm specifically for medical environments. Patients on oxygen should avoid petroleum, since it’s highly flammable.

All of these products are a move in the right direction, but the truth is, the patient community is ready for more. Personal care brands should take note that skincare is a real concern for many survivors of medical trauma. Traditional ingredients like parabens can interfere with treatments. Even natural ingredients such as chamomile and nut oils can irritate extremely sensitive skin. And strong fragrances are a no-go for chemo patients, pregnant women and many other patients who deal with nausea on a daily basis.

Products are being formulated for nearly everything these days. We have lipstick that changes colors when applied, a face mask removed with magnets, and powder that transforms to a cooling serum when applied to your face. It is time to create more products formulated for patients dealing with the effects of chemo, long-term best rest, and traumatic medical injuries.

Patients are required to submit to so many indignities. Personalized skin care products can do wonders to help them feel refreshed, rejuvenated and more like themselves. The confidence and bravery that come from taking control of a small part of life like that is priceless to someone fighting for their life.

Jordan Erskine President of Contract Manufacturer Dynamic Blending

Written by Jordan Erskine President of Contract Manufacturer, Dynamic Blending