Skin Care During Radiation Therapy

Skin Care During Radiation Treatment. Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Cancer does not only have an effect on our emotional and mental aspect, but it also does affect our physical aspect.

Radiation therapy is one of the treatments a doctor will recommend to a patient before/after surgical tumor removal. The procedure of radiation therapy is to use high doses of radiation to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. In a simple manner, the radiation used in x-rays to see the condition of your bones but only at low doses.

Radiation Therapy via Head & Neck Cancer Guide
Radiation Therapy via Head & Neck Cancer Guide

May 2017 when I received my 35 sessions of radiation therapy treatment in Philippine General Hospital in Manila, Philippines. At first, my skin looked okay, until I was on my 20th session that my skin started to feel itchiness and it becomes very irritated.

Prior to that, I was advised to use aloe vera cream before my skin will become very dry. Unfortunately, I was not that successful in taking care of my skin where it was being exposed with high doses of radiation until the last session was done and my skin on my upper right thigh.

I was completely suffering from burn pain for almost a month until it was healed and the wound was completely dried and closed.

If you are reading this and you are in preparation for your radiation therapy treatment, here are some tips that could help you to lessen the irritation of your skin. Before going to the hospital, make sure that:

  • Keep your skin in treated area dry.
  • Wash your skin daily gently with warm water and mild soap then pat dry.
  • Never use any lotions, creams, perfumes, powders, cosmetics, or deodorants on the skin where radiation is applied.
  • Never rub or massage the treated area.
  • Never wear fitted clothes and cotton fiber clothing is preferred.
  • Keep away from too much hot and cold temperatures such as: heating pads, hot water bottles, ice bag, etc.
  • Keep the treated area away from direct sun exposure.

When the burn resulted in an open wound, make sure to apply a cream that is prescribed by your dermatologist doctor. If there’s no open wound, continue to apply to the burned area with the skin care product you are already using during the treatment, like aloe vera cream.

What was your experience during your radiation therapy treatment? How did you manage from burn pain?

My name is Cielo, the author of “The Cancer Voice Asia”, a blog that aims to support and inspire anyone who is facing cancer. I know how it feels to be diagnosed with a rare and aggressive type of cancer, Leiomyosarcoma, at the age of 29. I know the challenges, the fears, the hopes, and the joys of living with cancer. I want to share my story with you and connect you with others who understand what you are going through. Together, we can empower ourselves and fight against the disease. Join me on this platform and let’s make our healing journey a meaningful one.

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