Radiotherapy can cause irritation to the skin, which can range from mild redness, to soreness burning or even severe swelling, blistering or weeping. How you manage radiation burns can make a big difference to your comfort.
Choose a natural, unscented, emollient ointment
Balmonds Skin Salvation or our award-winning, ultra-gentle Baby Balm are both good choices for patches of radiation burn; the Baby Balm contains calming lavender and anti-inflammatory chamomile which are renowned for their skin-soothing properties, especially for burns, so if you can tolerate essential oils, this is a great choice of emollient for helping skin to heal after radiotherapy.
A quick guide to helping radiation burns heal
- Wash gently in warm (not hot) water to prevent infection
- Use your hands not a flannel or washcloth on the area
- Use a very mild, unscented, low ph soapless cleanser
- Pat dry gently with a supersoft towel
- Apply emollient within a couple of minutes of washing
- Wear soft, fine, loose clothing without seams or labels against affected areas
- Apply cornstarch powder to places where skin rubs against skin (arms or breasts) to reduce friction
- Avoid shaving
- Moisturise regularly before, during and after treatment to keep skin in best condition
- Apply your moisturiser immediately after treatment
- ...and last thing at night
- If blisters form - leave them alone or cover gently with ointment and gauze or a non-adherent dressing
- Protect the area from the sun - cover up!
Be very careful to look out for any signs of infection and talk to your medical caregivers if you’re worried about any symptoms.
Check out our more detailed guide on Looking After Your Skin During Chemo or Radiotherapy for more information.