Sometimes radiation therapy can cause the skin on the part of your body receiving radiation to become dry and peel, itch (called pruritus), and turn red or darker. Your skin may look sunburned or become swollen or puffy. You may develop sores that become painful, wet, and infected.
What does radiation dermatitis look like?
Symptoms of radiation dermatitis
skin redness or pinkness, known as erythema. skin swelling, or edema. dry, peeling skin, called dry desquamation. skin that thins and weakens called moist desquamation.
How common is radiation dermatitis?
Introduction. Radiation therapy (RT) remains an essential component of cancer treatment, with nearly 50% of cancer patients receiving RT at some point during the course of their illness. Of those receiving RT, as many as 95% may experience some form of radiation dermatitis, or radiation-induced skin injury.
Why does radiation therapy cause skin problems?
When radiation passes through the skin, the healthy cells in the treatment area may become damaged. If you receive frequent radiation, your skin cells often do not have enough time to repair and regenerate in between treatments.
How do you get rid of radiation dermatitis?
The best method is to combine topical and oral treatment options.
- Corticosteroid cream. Topical steroid cream is often prescribed for radiation dermatitis, although clinical evidence is mixed concerning this treatment option.
- Antibiotics. …
- Silver leaf nylon dressing. …
- Zinc. …
How do you treat skin irritation from radiation?
Moisturizing the skin can be helpful to reduce itching and soften the skin, making you more comfortable. Talk with your radiation team about which moisturizer you should use. Do not use make up or cosmetics in the treatment area. Do not use skin products that contain scents or perfumes.
Can radiation cause itchy skin?
Sometimes radiation therapy can cause the skin on the part of your body receiving radiation to become dry and peel, itch (called pruritus), and turn red or darker. Your skin may look sunburned or become swollen or puffy. You may develop sores that become painful, wet, and infected. This is called a moist reaction.
Is itchy skin a side effect of radiation?
Radiation therapy-related skin problems.
When radiation therapy is used on cancer cells, it also affects healthy skin cells. This can cause the skin to peel, itch, or hurt. Skin damage from radiation therapy often starts after 1 or 2 weeks of treatment. Most often, it gets better a few weeks after treatment ends.
How long does radiation dermatitis take to heal?
Once radiation treatments are complete, the majority of symptoms usually resolve 2–4 weeks following the end of treatment.
Can radiation cause a rash?
Radiation dermatitis: This is a rash that develops in patients receiving radiation therapy. It usually occurs in the area of the skin getting radiation. It may be mild or severe depending on the location of the radiation, how much skin was affected, total radiation dose, and how long the radiation is given.
What type of radiation cause the skin to be damage?
UV rays, either from the sun or from artificial sources like tanning beds, can cause sunburn. Exposure to UV rays can cause premature aging of the skin and signs of sun damage such as wrinkles, leathery skin, liver spots, actinic keratosis, and solar elastosis.
Can radiation cause pimples?
Radiation-induced acne is a rare, clinically and pathogenetically ill-defined acneiform dermatosis with special features that may occur in irradiated skin areas especially after high doses of deeply penetrating radiation.
When does radiation dermatitis appear?
Acute radiation dermatitis occurs within 90 days of exposure to radiation. The patient may have skin changes ranging from faint erythema (reddening) and desquamation (peeling skin) to skin necrosis (death of skin cells) and ulceration, depending on the severity of the reaction.
What is the best cream to use after radiation?
Aquaphor® is often recommended to patients for general skin care. (Your health care team will give you a sample and a coupon for Aquaphor). If your skin becomes dry or itches and your doctor approves, apply the product to the treatment areas after radiation.
Will my skin go back to normal after radiation?
Overall, the most common side effects of radiation are fatigue, redness, swelling, and skin peeling in the area being treated. Radiation side effects may continue to get worse for a week or so after your treatment is completed, but then your skin will start to heal.