What Does Radiation Therapy Do To Your Skin?
Also known as radiation oncology, radiotherapy is a type of cancer treatment that utilizes ionizing radiation to destroy cells in the body. This type of radiation is usually very targeted, causing minimal damage to other tissues in the body; however, since ionizing radiation destroys rapidly-dividing cells, skin cells tend to get caught in the crossfire. The targeted cancer cells will take the majority of the damage, causing the desired destruction of rogue cells.
How Does Radiotherapy Affect Skin?
As hinted above, ionizing radiation has the most effect on rapidly dividing and multiplying cells. The outermost layer of any area that will be treated with radiotherapy is一 you guessed it一 skin. For this reason, radiation oncology tends to cause destruction to the irradiated area. Burning, itching, and rashes are all common side effects of radiotherapy一 this is called radiation dermatitis.
What Is Radiation Dermatitis?
Radiation dermatitis is one of five main side effects that come from radiotherapy. This is a skin condition that feels much like eczema, but it tends to be much more intense and difficult to get rid of while radiotherapy treatment is ongoing. Unfortunately, your skin won’t get a chance to heal properly until the damaging radiation ceases. You can, however, prepare your skin in advance to minimize the symptoms of radiation dermatitis. Start your radiation burn treatment before you go in for your first radiotherapy appointment, and you will have started off on the right foot.
Radiation Dermatitis Symptoms
- Redness and general irritation of the skin
- Swelling of the skin
- Dry skin and peeling
- Blisters, ulcers, or skin thinning
How To Treat Radiation Burns
Once your round radiotherapy has finished, you can start focusing on healing, rather than mitigating the severity of, your radiation dermatitis. During your treatment, you can use a skin cream that both hydrates and provides nutrients to your damaged skin. Be on the lookout for a cream with soothing, gentle ingredients like aloe, calendula extract, bamboo extract, pea extract, glucosamine, and hyaluronic acid.
Rejuvaskin’s Skin Recovery Cream
Here at Rejuvaskin, we’ve created our Skin Recovery Cream with radiotherapy patients in mind. Our unique formula contains botanicals and other ingredients that help stimulate collagen production一 a critical part of wound healing. There are six great reasons why our cream is the best. For one, we don’t use steroids in our Skin Recovery Cream (read more about Botanicals vs Steroids for Radiation Relief), so you can use our product as often as you wish.
Are you starting radiotherapy soon? Make sure to pick up some Skin Recovery Cream, and start using it one to two weeks prior to your first treatment session.