Skin Care During Radiation Therapy
During radiation treatments radiation passes through the skin of the treatment area to the tissues
below the surface. Over time this may cause redness, irritation, tanning and sunburn. The skin
reactions usually occurs during your second week of treatment increasing until about 7 days after
your final radiation treatment and then subside gradually after treatment is completed.
Recomended skin care practices:
- Do not use scented or medicated lotion, alcohol, talcum powder, deodorant, perfume,
cologne, aftershave, anti-perspirant, make-up or oil IN THE RADIATION FIELD. You may use
pure aloe vera, Lubriderm, Eucerin or Radiation lotion to the skin in the radiation field
(the area being radiated) after your treatment each day. Lotions should not be on your skin
during the actual treatment.
- Use mild soaps in the radiation field (i.e. Basis, Neutrogena, Ivory or Dove). Avoid
scrubbing or vigorous wiping. Pat dry with a soft towel.
- Do not use styling material such as hairspray or gel if the scalp is being treated.
You may use Baby Shampoo or a Ph balanced shampoo. Only use a hairdryer if necessary and
on the cool setting.
- Do not shave within the radiation field or use aftershave lotion; use electric razors
- Be careful not to wash off or remove any skin marks. If the marks come off, do not attempt
to redraw them yourself; notify your technician at your next treatment.
- Do not scratch the treated area. If your skin becomes itchy, notify your doctor and use
recommended lotion or gel more frequently.
- Do not use adhesive tape, Band-Aids or dressings on the skin in treated areas.
- Do not use ice packs, heating lamps, hot tubs, hot water bottles, heating pads or saunas.
Avoid extreme temperatures.
- Do not expose the radiated area to direct sunlight, cold temperature, winds or rains.
Use an unscented sun block of SPF 30 or higher if you are going to be outdoors for more than 20
minutes to protect the skin.