Nearly 95% of cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy experience radiation dermatitis. Unfortunately, there is no consensus treatment option for preventing or managing radiation dermatitis.
Here are some things you can do from home to protect your skin and ease your radiation burn symptoms:
- Wash your irritated skin with mild soap and lukewarm water.
- Don’t rub or scratch your irritated skin.
- Don’t use heating pads or ice on your treatment area.
- Use moisturizing cream as directed.
- If you cover your treatment area with bandages, secure the bandages with paper tape so you don’t pull on your skin. Try to place the tape away from your treatment area and don’t put the tape in the same place each time.
- Wear loose, soft clothing that doesn’t rub against or irritate skin affected by radiation.
- If you need to shave your treatment area, use an electric razor to avoid irritating your skin.
- Stay out of the sun. Wear protective clothing any time you’re exposed to sunlight. Ask your healthcare provider if you should use sunscreen and what kind of sunscreen is best.
- Stay cool. Your skin may feel better if you’re able to spend time in cool humid environments. Use cool mist humidifiers to banish dryness.
- Talk to your provider before putting anything on your treatment area. This includes cosmetics, hair removal products, powders, creams, lotions, oils, ointments, and perfumes.
Thanks to advances in medical technology and human-derived keratin bioscience, new prescription (Rx) treatments for radiation dermatitis are possible. KeraStat® Cream is now available to help manage radiation dermatitis and its symptoms. Ask your radiation oncologist or physician’s assistant in oncology about KeraStat® Cream.
- Hegedus F, Mathew LM, Schwartz RA. Radiation dermatitis: an overview. International Journal of Dermatology. 2017;56:909-914. PMID 27496623.
- Kole AJ, Kole L, Moran MS. Acute radiation dermatitis in breast cancer patients: challenges and solutions. Breast Cancer – Targets and Therapy. 2017;9:313-323. PMID 38503074.