One of the most irritating side effects of radiation therapy is the effect it has on your skin. Often the annoyance becomes great enough that patients stop treatment to relieve skin discomfort. The problem is that radiation therapy can cause a reaction similar to a sunburn. Your skin may become itchy, irritated, sore, or even burnt. This is known as radiation dermatitis. Your reaction may be mild, moderate, or severe. All of which are an unfortunate side effect of something that is actually helping you get healthy.
Your skin shouldn’t have to suffer during your radiation therapy. It also shouldn’t be the reason that you put your treatment on hold. Your goal should be one thing – getting healthy. Even so, it’s hard to ignore radiation dermatitis when it is with you through and between every treatment. If you are experiencing skin irritation due to radiation therapy this list of helpful hints might bring you some relief.
Wear Loose-fitting, Soft Clothes
Comfort should be number one on your list when picking what to wear. Clothes that form tightly to your skin can exacerbate side effects, so it is best to wear loose-fitting clothing. The weight of your clothes can be important too. Light-weight cotton clothing is normally best. The goal is to avoid any unnecessary or excessive rubbing which might cause irritation.
Keep Away from Harsh Sun Exposure
It’s highly likely that you have been outside under the hot sun while sporting a sunburn before. Imagine how that glaring sun might feel on your skin which is already sore from your treatment. Be sure to use a high factor sunscreen or even cover the irradiated area when you must go outside. You may also want to keep an eye out for shade to avoid direct sunlight. A large hat be helpful too. Especially when you are treating the head or neck area.
Avoid Contact with Extreme Temperatures
Try to avoid contact with extreme temperatures and your affected skin. Heating pads or ice packs are a no-go. Also, when bathing, use warm (not hot) water. If you are taking a shower, you may want to try to keep the water from landing directly on the area. Or, if you have a shower head that allows, try a setting that doesn’t spray with high pressure.
Be Gentle When You Wash Your Skin
On the subject of bathing, certain soaps may cause more severe reactions. A mild, unscented soap is best to limit the chance that your skin will have a further reaction. It’s important to clean your skin gently. Avoid using an abrasive washcloth, loofah, or brush. When you dry off, pat yourself dry.
Try a Radiation Relief Cream
All of the tips mentioned so far can help reduce the side effects of radiation dermatitis. But how can you actually begin to repair your damaged skin? That’s where you may want to consider a radiation relief cream. Revive Skin Recovery Cream was developed to support skin affected by radiation therapy. It uses ingredients proven to nourish and soothe your skin. This, and similar creams, help promote skin health during your treatment.
During radiation therapy, your focus should be on getting healthy. Hopefully, this list provides an answer to one obstacle in your way. This isn’t a full list, but it is one that may certainly provide the relief you are looking for. Find what works for you and stick to it! We are with you.