Radiation therapy is a cancer treatment that uses X-rays to destroy cancer cells and shrink malignant tumors. Radiation therapy is effective on many different types of cancer.
A common side effect is a skin condition called radiation dermatitis, also known as X-ray dermatitis or radiation burns. Concentrated exposure to radiation causes painful, red marks on the skin. Nearly two-thirds of people with cancer are treated with radiation therapy. Of those people, roughly 85 percent experience moderate-to-severe skin reactions that typically occur within the first two weeks of the treatment. Unfortunately, these reactions can last for several years after the radiation therapy is complete.
During radiation treatment, concentrated X-ray beams pass through the skin and produce irradiated free radicals. This causes:
• tissue damage
• DNA damage
• inflamed skin (affects both the epidermis and dermis, or outer and inner layers of skin)
As radiation treatment continues, the skin doesn’t have enough time between doses to heal. Eventually, the affected area of skin breaks down. This causes pain, discomfort, and rashes.
Support for Radiation Dermatitis
It is important to work with your health care professional when dealing with radiation dermatitis. With the right approach, this side effect can be reduced or eliminated. The best method is often to combine topical and oral treatment options.
The topical application of our advanced product Recovery, abundant in S²RM® molecules, will help with the symptoms of radiation dermatitis. Follow Recovery with our Intensive Moisturizer and apply as often as needed to calm the skin.
Along with the appropriate topical products, patients receiving radiation therapy should be advised to avoid sun exposure by covering the treated area with protective clothing or chemical free sunscreen. Avoid topical skin irritants, such as perfumes, deodorants, and alcohol-based lotions, and don’t scratch of the affected area.