Although radiation therapy is painless, it does cause the skin in the treated areas to become very dry. Changes in the skin occur gradually, usually within three to four weeks of the first treatment and vary from person to person. Due to these changes, your skin will need special care before, during, and after radiation therapy. Skin changes if left untreated can lead to more serious conditions including infections. You may notice one or more of the following skin reactions:
It is important to keep your skin in good condition by doing the following:
Your skin in the treatment area will remain sensitive and dry after your course of radiation therapy, so it still needs special care. Remember to always protect your skin from extreme heat or cold, paying special attention to exposure to the sun. Always use a sun block with a SPF of 15 or higher. It is also important to avoid injuries to your skin that may be caused by chemical in cleaning solutions or solvents, cuts, and scratches or tight fitting clothes. Avoid sunlight for at least 1 year after treatment and always wear protective clothing over the treated area. Schedule an appointment with a skin specialist at the Image Recovery Centers® to discuss a plan that is appropriate for you.