Radiation therapy can be a life-saving treatment, but it is not without side-effects, and can cause rashes, sensitivity and damage to the skin.
What’s going on?
Radiotherapy, whether given via a machine, internal capsules, drinks or injections, is designed to kill cancer cells, and is the most effective cancer treatment after surgery. Unfortunately, in 95% of cases, external radiotherapy also damages healthy skin cells.
A radiotherapy rash can seem a bit like sunburn, feeling sore and sensitive to the touch, or the skin can look darker or a different colour compared to your normal skin tone. It can appear a few days or a week after treatment, and stay dry, sensitive and itchy for some time, usually for 2-4 weeks.
For more detailed information about looking after your skin during radiotherapy, see our article How To Prevent Radiotherapy Burns And Radiation Dermatitis.
Take care of delicate skin while healing by washing with a gentle, unscented wash and moisturising regularly with good, unscented, non-irritant products.
Recommended products for looking after skin during radiotherapy:
Balmonds Baby Balm with chamomile, lavender and beeswax, £8.99 for 50ml
Balmonds Natural Shampoo & Body Wash, £19 for 200ml
Daily Moisturising Cream with calendula, shea and hemp seed oil, from £13.99 for 100ml
Intensive Hand Cream with seabuckthorn, calendula, chamomile and shea, from £10.99 for 50ml
Cooling Cream with menthol, aloe, lavender and calendula, £19 for 100ml
Skin Salvation with hemp seed, beeswax & calendula, from £7.99 for 30ml
Balmonds Rosehip Scar Oil with rosehip, lavender, calendula & chamomile, £18.99 for 50ml