Even though the new radiation technology has given us the capability to spare patients from significant skin burns, depending on the type of cancer and its location, sometimes either the skin itself is the target of radiation or it is impossible to spare it completely.
Skin burn from radiation in many ways is similar to a sunburn. There are a number of products that radiation oncologists may recommend to alleviate the discomfort from the skin burn. These include but are not limited to Aquaphor ointment, Miaderm Lotion, Aloe Vera gel, Calendu, RadX Radiation Therapy cream, Radia-Guard lotion and many other products.
If the skin has blistered or the shiny and moist part of skin is exposed, Silvadene cream and/or a variety of gel wound dressings may be recommended. In worst case scenarios, your radiation oncologist may decide to advise a break in the course of treatment but this has to be weighed carefully against the negative impact of breaks during radiation on the final outcome of treatment.
Avoiding sun exposure and products containing alcohol is advisable. Cleaning the area with mild and fragrance-free soap and water to prevent infection is essential. If the affected area is in perineal area, sitz baths with water and Hydrogen Peroxide would be helpful.
Women should avoid wearing wired bras if the treatment area includes the chest. Please do not use any product without consulting your radiation oncologist first.