Since skin reactions are a common part of radiation side effects, you will need to pay special attention to the skin area being irradiated while undergoing your course of treatment. Here are a few tips:
1. Select a good healing cream and use it consistently. Today, there are products made specifically for skin care during radiation. Your doctor or nurse may advise a specific cream or leave the choice up to you. With our product, we have found that people have the greatest success and suffer the fewest skin-related radiation side effects when they start early and use our one product exclusively and consistently throughout treatment.
It’s important to use a radiation cream regularly. And so, you may want to buy two or three smaller size tubes so you can keep one on your bedside table and put the other one in your purse or car. Having your radiation cream nearby at all times can make it easier for you to apply it throughout the day.
How to Use Healing Cream for Radiation Side Effects
We recommend people start applying their radiation cream once or twice daily several days before beginning radiation. As soon as therapy begins, use the cream immediately following treatment and most importantly, again at bedtime. In the event your skin begins to react to the radiation, apply the cream more often. In some cases, it may be necessary to apply a radiation cream up to 5-6 times per day, each and every time the skin feels sensitive. Note that the skin area to be irradiated should be bare and dry for the treatment itself!
Once the course of therapy has ended, continue using your radiation cream for at least two weeks because the radiation keeps working and skin still needs to be cared for.
If the part of the body being treated is in an area that gets a lot of moisture or friction, such as the underarms, some people have found it helpful to apply their radiation cream first, and to follow up with a light dusting of corn starch.
2. Avoid sun exposure to treated area.
3. Wear only soft, loose, lightweight fabrics over the treatment area. If you are being treated for breast cancer, avoid bras that might chafe or irritate your skin.
4. Avoid artificial hot or cold packs. These can do further damage to delicate irradiated skin.
5. Check your skin at the treatment site every day and alert your nurse or doctor to any changes.
If your skin is exhibiting radiation side effects during treatment, symptoms will usually go away within a few weeks. Be sure to consult with your care team if any condition lingers.