|Skin Reactions From Radiation|
| Last Modified: September 14, 2012
Each time radiation therapy is delivered, small amounts are absorbed by the skin over the area being treated. About 2 to 3 weeks after your first radiation treatment, you may notice redness and irritation similar to a sunburn. These changes are an expected part of your therapy and are temporary. Your team will examine your skin periodically. In some cases, you may need to stop radiation treatments for a short period to allow the skin to heal. If the reaction becomes severe, you may need special care to help the area heal.
All patients receiving radiation therapy should take special measures to protect their skin from any additional damage, including:
Be extra kind to the skin in the area being treated.
Avoid anything that could cause injury to the skin in the area being treated.
Check the skin in the treatment area daily. Report any cuts, open areas or significant changes to your radiation oncologist or nurse.
How are skin reactions treated?
Minor skin reactions caused by radiation therapy do not require any special treatment. If, however, the skin reactions become worse or if you sustain additional damage to your skin, treatment may be necessary. Your radiation oncologist may decide to stop treatments for a period of time in order to allow the skin to heal. Your radiation team will tell you how to care for any skin reactions. Do not apply anything to the area without checking with your radiation team first.
If you have any questions about skin reactions, or need additional information and direction, ask your doctor or nurse.