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Ways to Care for Your Skin During Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy is one of the standard treatment options for cancer patients. However, the treatment has some adverse side effects that could influence the treatment and quality of life if ignored. Radiation makes the skin sensitive, and it can lead to painful rashes. Consider visiting a dermatologist for guidance on how to take care of your skin before you begin your radiation therapy. The following tips can help your skin during treatment.

Maintaining Hygiene

  • It helps if you clean the area of skin where the treatment was administered to remove any bacteria that could lead to infections. Since the area is sensitive, use your bare hands to clean it and avoid rubbing it.
  • As for which skincare products to use, avoid products with a fragrance. Cleansers, make-up, and moisturizers should all be scent-free. Check the ingredients to ensure that they are free from fragrance.
  • Moisturizing your skin keeps it looking healthy, and it quickens the healing process—however, discuss with your physician about the frequency of moisturizing and the type of moisturizer to use.
  • Shelve shaving for some time as it could lead to infections or rashes.

Protecting your Skin from Harsh Conditions

  • Wear loose-fitting clothes so that the clothes do not rub against the sensitive areas.
  • Chores such as washing dishes can affect your hands if they are receiving radiation treatment. So, wear gloves: cotton liner gloves then rubber gloves on top.
  • If you are using medical supplies with adhesives, try to stick them on areas that have not been exposed to radiation. Nicotine patches, medical tape, and stick-on bandages can irritate the skin.
  • When in the sun, cover the treated skin with sun-protective clothing. Put on a wide-brimmed hat to protect your neck and head area. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen (one with an SPF of 30 or above) every two hours.
  • Extreme temperatures can irritate the treated skin, so avoid it.

Skin infections after radiation may take time before they occur. So, take care of your skin after the treatment. Contact your radiologist if you notice a rash, redness, and any other changes on your skin.

 

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