Optune GioTM and scalp care

By: Kimberly, Optune Gio Patient

Finding a skincare routine that works for you

As an Optune Gio patient, I know that skincare can be challenging at times, especially when it comes to keeping the skin on your scalp healthy. Through trial and error, and the help of my doctor to refine my skincare, I’ve discovered a few tricks in my routine. Of course, I recommend talking to your doctor if you run into any issues with your scalp care. Your doctor can recommend the best routine for you based on your personal needs and type of skin.

Preparing the Skin

Preparing my head before applying the arrays is the most important step in my scalp care routine because it helps prevent irritation. After shaving and shampooing, I apply a skin prep or skin barrier to my scalp. This can be purchased over the counter.


I've found this step to be particularly useful in helping to prevent ulcers. Skin barriers can not only protect the scalp but also help the arrays adhere to the skin. This is also particularly helpful when the weather is hot or humid so the arrays stay in place no matter how much I may sweat.

Managing Irritation

In the event that I do get an ulcer, my doctor usually prescribes a medicated cream. I would always check with my doctor before applying anything not prescribed.


My husband, Cecil, has become very good at cutting small pieces out of the array patches that will allow the ulcer to be open to the air. This also allows me to apply medicine to the ulcer and let it heal. Sometimes my husband may slightly move the position of an array patch to miss an ulcer, but we always check with my doctor before doing this. You should talk to your doctor before making any changes in your routine.

Additional Tips and Tricks

Another thing that I have found helpful is to leave my arrays on continuously for four days, and then I take them off for 12 to 24 hours, with my doctor’s guidance. This gives me a break and allows my skin to breathe.


Lastly, I always keep my head covered unless I am indoors. I usually wear baseball caps or bandanas in the summer. In the winter, I wear stocking caps of various thicknesses depending on how cold it is. Once, I made the mistake of going outside without a hat when my arrays were off. I ended up getting a sunburn over my tumor/radiation site. Since then, I am very cautious about keeping my head covered.


If you do experience skin irritation, then be sure to consult your doctor.


I hope I've shared something useful. Sometimes skincare is challenging, especially when you’re at the beginning of your journey, and you may figure different things out over time with trial and error. Persistence is the key. Don't give up.

Back to Patient stories

Important Safety Information

What is Optune Gio® approved to treat?

Optune Gio is a wearable, portable, FDA-approved device indicated to treat a type of brain cancer called glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) in adult patients 22 years of age or older.

Newly diagnosed GBM

If you have newly diagnosed GBM, Optune Gio is used together with a chemotherapy called temozolomide (TMZ) if:

  • Your cancer is confirmed by your healthcare professional AND
  • You have had surgery to remove as much of the tumor as possible

Recurrent GBM

If your tumor has come back, Optune Gio can be used alone as an alternative to standard medical therapy if:

  • You have tried surgery and radiation and they did not work or are no longer working AND
  • You have tried chemotherapy and your GBM has been confirmed by your healthcare professional

Who should not use Optune Gio?

Optune Gio is not for everyone. Talk to your doctor if you have:

  • An implanted medical device (programmable shunt), skull defect (missing bone with no replacement), or bullet fragment. Optune Gio has not been tested in people with implanted electronic devices, which may cause the devices not to work properly, and Optune Gio has not been tested in people with skull defects or bullet fragments, which may cause Optune Gio not to work properly 
  • A known sensitivity to conductive hydrogels (the gel on the arrays placed on the scalp like the ones used on EKGs). When Optune Gio comes into contact with the skin, it may cause more redness and itching or may rarely cause a life-threatening allergic reaction

Do not use Optune Gio if you are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant. It is not known if Optune Gio is safe or effective during pregnancy.

What should I know before using Optune Gio?

Optune Gio should only be used after receiving training from qualified personnel, such as your doctor, a nurse, or other medical staff who have completed a training course given by Novocure®, the maker of Optune Gio.

  • Do not use any parts that did not come with the Optune Gio Treatment Kit sent to you by Novocure or given to you by your doctor
  • Do not get the device or transducer arrays wet
  • If you have an underlying serious skin condition on the scalp, discuss with your doctor whether this may prevent or temporarily interfere with Optune Gio treatment

What are the possible side effects of Optune Gio?

Most common side effects of Optune Gio when used together with chemotherapy (temozolomide, or TMZ) were low blood platelet count, nausea, constipation, vomiting, tiredness, scalp irritation from the device, headache, seizure, and depression. The most common side effects when using Optune Gio alone were scalp irritation (redness and itchiness) and headache. Other side effects were malaise, muscle twitching, fall and skin ulcers. Talk to your doctor if you have any of these side effects or questions.


Please click here for the Optune Gio Instructions For Use (IFU) for complete information regarding the device’s indications, contraindications, warnings, and precautions.

Novocure Websites

This website is intended for people seeking information on Optune Gio.

On this site, videos and images identified as Optune Gio users, caregivers, or healthcare professionals depict actual patients, caregivers, and healthcare professionals.

Patient images reflect the health status of the patients at the time each photo or video was taken.


External links


All rights reserved.

MyLink, MyNovocure, Novocure, and Optune Gio are registered trademarks of Novocure GmbH.

All other trademarks, registered or unregistered, are the property of their respective owners.

US-OPG-00063 v2.0 March 2024