Radiation treatments can be welcome when you've got cancer; you know that they are working to make you healthy. However, there are be side effects to this therapy. After your sessions, you may feel tired or nauseous. Your skin may need extra care during this period because of radiation exposure. If you find your skin becoming irritated or red and experience some burning, these tips should be used.
Prep Your Skin
Because your skin hasn't had to deal with the likes of radiation before, you could be going in with bare, untreated skin. It can sometimes help your skin to be treated with antibiotic ointments the night before.
When your skin has been treated,it can start to itch. However, rubbing or scratching can make you even more uncomfortable. Pat the skin instead. This is also advised when you clean the area; instead of doing a wiping or rubbing motion, pat the skin dry.
Skip Perfumes and Lotions
Though you may have long enjoyed fragrant lotions or wearing perfume, as radiation continues it may be soothing for your skin to skip application of these items. Chemicals they contain can be an irritant that only aggravates the tender skin beating treated.
Cool Down with a Hair Dryer
To help with burning skin, you can turn a hair dryer to the "cool" setting and gently wave the dryer over affected skin. Never use air that is warm.
Cover Affected Skin in Sunlight
If you plan to spend time outdoors, that can be good for your mental health during this time. Just ensure that the skin being exposed to radiation is covered with either a gauze bandage or loose-fitting garments.
Avoid Popping Blisters
In some cases, blisters can form. Your initial desire could be to pop them, but closed blisters are actually healing affected skin and should open on their own. Leave them alone and let them be exposed to air or cover lightly with gauze. When they do open, pat them dry and watch for signs of infection
Don't Erase Marks
Your doctor has likely marked your skin so that radiation treatments can work on the same "field" every time you're there. Do your best to heed all these suggestions without rubbing away those marks.
Radiation can at times be rough on skin, and these suggestions are helpful. Discuss your skin with your doctors to determine if there's more to be done.