Skin Safe During Radiation Tips

Is Your Skin Safe During Radiation? Use These Tips For Protecting It

Radiation can be exhausting, both emotionally and physically. But cancer treatments aren’t complete without them. Advanced treatments have far less damaging side effects, but the skin of cancer patients continues to suffer because of radiation. So, radiation skin care can be tricky. 

Is it Possible to Control the Damage to your Skin?

Given that the latest radiation methods are more efficient and non-invasive, the only positive takeaway is that this treatment will probably spare the surrounding skin tissues and work only on the main organ. At the same time, radiation rays are super strong and in order to reach the cancerous cells, they must go through the skin first. 

As a result, patients experience some sort of skin discoloration, sensitivity, swelling, flaking and dryness, tightness, itchiness, blisters, and rashes. If any of these conditions worsen and is accompanied by high fever, bleeding, chills, or unbearable pain, you need to get emergency help.

How to Care for your Skin during Radiation:

  • Keep the skin clean: For this, you must bathe daily using mild unscented soap and warm water. It’s important to rinse it well and pat dry using a soft towel. Avoid using a washcloth, brush, or loofah because the skin undergoing treatment is super sensitive and fragile. Never use alcohol pads or alcohol on the area being treated.

  • Moisturize it well: This helps to soothe skin reactions. You can even buy an over-the-counter moisturizer, but not one having lanolin or artificial fragrances. Sometimes, the doctor may prescribe medications for treating skin itchiness. Applying moisturizer twice a day and wearing loose-fitting cotton clothes can help. You shouldn’t apply over the open area and avoid using any form of makeup or perfume on areas undergoing treatment. Deodorants are permitted, provided these do not irritate the skin. But shaving is a big “no-no” on the treated skin.

  • Avoid tanning: You shouldn’t go for artificial tanning once the radiation is over. If you plan on getting a natural tan under the sun, make sure to use a high-SPF sunblock.

  • Wear protective clothes: When you go out in the sun, the skin is prone to much damage. So, it’s best to use protective clothing outdoors. This means avoiding tight-fitting clothes and those made with any material apart from cotton. During cold months, you must protect your skin using many layers of warm clothing.

  • Avoid hot tubs: When undergoing radiation, you shouldn’t try using a hot tub. The chemicals and excess heat can cause irreparable damage to your skin. Swimming may be permitted in a chlorinated pool, but remember to rinse well afterward.

  • Avoid massage: Massaging may not be good for the areas being treated. Even when doing house chores, wear gloves when using harsh cleaners for the dishes.

Use these simple tips to protect your skin from further damage during radiation. The skin will probably remain dry and itchy after the treatment. Monitor changes and reach out to a reputed skin cancer clinic if you notice any moles, discoloration, or swelling.

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