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Skin Care during Radiation

Posted 4/19/2016

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  Almost everyone who has radiation therapy deals with skin reactions. For some people, these are minimal while others experience serious burning and pain. Everyone is different, and every treatment is different, so you can only be prepared with information and likely predictions about your own experience.

  Before using any products, check with your radiation doctor or nurse to be sure that they are safe to use. A general guideline is to avoid anything that includes additives, but different centers have different rules, so do ask first. 

  Skin reactions worsen as radiation goes on. Sadly, just because you haven't noticed any problems in the first few days or weeks, things may intensify. Of course, some courses of treatment are brief and don't cause real difficulties. It also makes a difference where the radiation is directed. Breasts, for example, are likely to be less burned than chest walls (post mastectomy without reconstruction) or genital/rectal areas.

  Remember that all radiation burns, even the worse, do heal. This is temporary.

  This is an excellent article by Heather Millar in Web MD: 

10 Tips for Skin Care During Radiation
By Heather Millar

Do you have a sight, or a smell, that instantly puts your mind back in an oncology waiting room, an
infusion center, or a radiation oncology wing? For me, it’s the smell of the moisturizer that I was
prescribed when I was going through radiation therapy for breast cancer. It’s a sickly sweet smell. And,
while I don’t really like to remember it, I have to admit that moisturizer was a godsend during radiation.
As every cancer patient knows, taking care of your skin during radiation is challenging. You feel like your
skin’s about to peel right off, but you still have to put on clothing. The shower feels uncomfortable, but you
still have to bathe. You itch, but you’re not supposed to scratch.
You’ve probably heard some of the more common advice:
Wear loose-fitting clothes.
Keep your skin moisturized. But make sure you use the products your doctors recommend – not
your favorite stuff from the beauty counter!
Avoid bathing in water that’s too hot or too cold. Stick with lukewarm water.
Protect your skin from the sun. Think how painful a sunburn might be on irradiated skin. Cover up.
Wear a hat. Stay in the shade.

Read more: ttp://blogs.webmd.com/cancer/2016/03/skin-care-during-radiation.html

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