Comfort During Cancer – Radiation Burn Relief – Lots To Live For Cancer Side Effect Solutions


Radiation Burn TreatmentBy Margot Malin, CEO and President of Lots To Live For, Inc

The beginning of a cancer treatment journey can be overwhelming. It is emotional and there is so much new information to absorb, and so many unknowns to research.

The beginning of a series of radiation oncology treatments may be just one piece of the overall protocol. Below we share some tips to help you through treatment.

Radiation oncology can cause a number of side effects. It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with them before you start so that you can be well prepared.  The most common side effect is radiation dermatitis – a condition where the skin of the treated area becomes red and irritated.  Typical symptoms of radiation burns and radiation dermatitis include dryness, redness, itching, swelling, and possibly a rash.  In addition, radiation can cause hair loss, desquamation (wet or dry), edema and/or ulcerations.  Sometimes the side effects of treatment become so severe that treatment must be discontinued until the skin heals. Unfortunately, interruption can compromise treatment.

Dermatologic issues and related discomfort can significantly affect a patient’s quality of life.  Quality of life issues are important because they affect a patients ability to complete daily tasks and on a broader scale, affect overall emotional health and well being during treatment. A positive outlook and frame of mind can ease the cancer journey and discomfort can certainly be a damper on outlook.

Here are a few simple tips for skin care during radiation treatment.  Please consult your oncology team for more though medical advice and recommendations.

  1. Do not expose the area receiving radiation to direct sunlight during treatment.  Many people do not realize that they should also avoid sunlight to irradiated skin for several years after treatment.  Please confirm the length of time your doctor or nurse would like you to avoid direct sunlight to the treated area.
  2. Only use products that are as gentle and as natural as possible for cleansing.
  3. Use warm water, avoid hot water.
  4. Try to keep the skin as soft and supple as possible to prevent itching and peeling.  Use moisturizers with no harsh ingredients
  5. Only use covers, wraps and bandages with no adhesives because adhesives can pull and tear already thin and damaged skin.
  6. Do not remove any markings put on your skin by your radiation oncology team because they guide placement for the oncology technician.
  7. Do not put any creams or oils on your skin immediately before your radiation treatments.
  8. Wear loose fitting cotton clothing around the area where you are receiving treatment. If you are receiving radiation to the breast area you might want to avoid wearing a bra. If this is not possible, avoid bras with underwires.
  9. Soft cotton sheets may help you feel more comfortable at night and help you sleep better.

Even if you take the precautions above, you might still develop redness, tenderness, and radiation burns.  Luckily, there are a number of excellent products that are soothing and helpful.  Many of them were developed by individuals who battled cancer themselves. They have walked in your shoes.  All of these products are more fully described on the Lots To Live For, Inc. website.

Below we have created a simple guide to products that are helpful during radiation skin care.

Radiation Lotions and Radiation Creams

RADX makes 4 products that are helpful to radiation therapy patients. The RADX moisture therapy can be used before and after radiation, and may prevent deterioration of the skin, thereby avoiding skin breakdown and painful burns. However, if patients have already experienced burns they may find relief from the RADX radiation therapy which contains lidocaine to relieve pain.

My Girls™ Skin Care Cream is a plant-based, calendula cream that also contains rosemary, honey and natural oils.  The My Girls Cream formula is free of toxins, fragrance and dyes.

DermaQOL Relief Therapy Cream   is made of a rich blend of organic essential oils which deeply penetrate and nourish the skin. It helps soothe difficult, irritated, or very rough, dry, scaly, and patchy areas leaving the skin feeling renewed. All DermaQOL products are free of all harsh ingredients.

Cool Magic Hydrogel Sheets, Skin Cooler Rolls, and Cooler Pads

You should not use heating pads or ice packs on the area receiving radiation. Hydrogel sheets, and cooler products can be refrigerated and placed on the skin – they soothe and cool the burned area.  Check with your oncology team before use because they may not be recommended for very bad burns.

Cool Magic Hydrogel Sheets are mentioned in many cancer blogs for their effectiveness. They cool live nerve endings due to their 90% water-10% polyethylene formulation. They provide instant cooling to burns, abrasions, skin tears, radiation reactions and sensitive wounds, effectively reducing pain.

Skin Cooler Rolls are similar to the Cool Magic gel sheets. The natural properties of water and aloe vera combine to help soothe any compromised area and promote a moist, healing environment for healthy skin.

Cancer treatment can be physically, mentally, and emotionally draining. Techniques and products to reduce side effects can help make the process more comfortable and hopefully improve your fame of mind, your energy, and hopefully your overall outcome. We know that you have “Lots To Live For” and we provide cancer side effect solutions to help you maintain your normal lifestyle during treatment.

Related Article:

About Margot Malin: Intellectually cMargot Malinurious and fiercely independent, Margot Malin has a passion for knowledge.  After receiving her MBA from The Wharton School, she launched her career by analyzing and evaluating businesses.  In 2002 she embarked on the “creative reinvention” phase of her career with the intention of “giving back”. Margot founded Lots To Live For, Inc., an internet retailer that sells carefully selected products to reduce and relieve the uncomfortable and unpleasant side effects caused by chemotherapy and radiation.

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Comments

  1. For the commenters who are asking about breast slings – they can be found here:
    http://www.lotstolivefor.com/brands/Comfort-Slings.html
    They are very helpful for radiation burns, sores, and dermatits beneath the breast. They are especially helpful to dry “weepy” sores beneath the breast because they prevent the breast from folding over the skin, thereby allowing the sores to dry.

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  2. Hey Teresa, you can go for herbal products which would help you to reduce the pain or go for hydrogel dressings, which could be used to maintain a moist healing environment after consulting to your oncologist as it will be harmful to your body and would give you certain radiation side effects if you will not consult your doctor. Get more information about over here.(http://www.advancedradiationcenters.com)

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  3. Thank you for such an informative post.

    Like

  4. How can I deal with radiotherapy burns that wont dry

    Like

  5. Great advice ….
    Thanks for sharing skin care tips for cancer patients…
    I want to share specially for cancer patients regarding beauty tips and products. We support the fight against cancer with beauty! To look good for feel better. The world’s ONLY line of all natural cosmetics and beauty products, designed BY cancer patients FOR cancer patients. Safe to use during radiation and chemotherapy treatment.Know the Facts – http://fightcancerwithbeauty.com/

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  6. Having undergone a lumpectomy and radiation in 2007 / 2008. I am aware of the frightening road ahead for women about to undergo radiation and/or chemotherapy. If you are large-breasted and will have radiation directed to the underside of your breast, you should know that I found incredible relief from radiation burns using a BreastComfort Sling. The very soft non-constricting cushion is incredibly comfortable and soothing. It protects the underside of your breast from perspiration and skin-to-skin contact and rubbing. I can’t recommend it enough!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Margot, Having gone through radiation twice, I found this blog very informative and know it will be helpful to so many others. Great blog!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Exposure to radiation are harmful to our body but regulated radiation can do a lot of help for cancer stricken people. Complications could arise from this treatment if the immune system of the patient is not strong enough but the most common side effect is related to dermatological problems. The tips mentioned here are very helpful in coping and preparing oneself in undergoing this kind of treatment.

    Like

  9. Admiring the time and effort you put into your blog and in depth information you provide.
    It’s great to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same old rehashed information.
    Fantastic read! I’ve bookmarked your site and I’m adding your RSS feeds to
    my Google account.

    Like

  10. This is a topic that’s near to my heart… Cheers! Exactly where are your contact details though?

    Like

  11. Hmm is anyone else experiеncing problems with the images on
    this blog loading? Ӏ’m trying to find out if its a problem on
    my end or if it’s the blog. Any feedЬack would be gгeatly appreciated.

    Like

  12. You made your position extremely effectively!
    !

    Like

  13. This is a great list. I would add one more amazing product. Marula Oil which is a plant-based oil from East Africa was hesitantly recommended by my oncologist. I purchased it from an online website called marula.com. The results were miraculous. The burning and scarring began to fade, the skin felt much better and the elasticity began to return. I have shared the oil with friends recovering from knee replacement surgery where heavy scarring is an issue.

    Like

  14. Your article was very insightful. I marketing a product that relieves pain. I’m going to ask one of the ladies at the support I attend to try some and see exactly how well it works. It’s holistic but not available in stores. I’ll keep you abreast of the results. If it works on sunburn skin it should work on radiated skin as well.

    gLou Coleman-Stevens, RN

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  15. I am so glad that my blog post is generating conversation, and more importantly, additional suggestions and helpful information relating to skin care during radiation treatment. The fresh aloe plant has offered so many people protection and relief. It is absolutely worth researching where you can find fresh aloe plants. I also encourage you to print out the Annie Appleseed handout mentioned above. And, for a wealth of additional helpful information for cancer patients, visit the Annie Appleseed website: http://www.annieappleseedproject.org/

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  16. I am so glad that my blog post is generating conversation, and more importantly so many additional helpful ideas. The fresh aloe plant has given many people protection and relief. Please read and print out the Annie Appleseed Project Handout mentioned above. There is great information on it for all cancer patients. Also visit the Annie Appleseed website for a wealth of additional information – http://www.annieappleseedproject.org/

    Like

  17. I too bought several aloe vera plants before starting my radiation treatment. I would put that on my skin throughout the day. (It stains your clothes, so something to be aware of.) While going through radiation, I would wear a huge ace bandage around my chest and then a tank top over that. I didn’t want anything touching that area! I swear by the aloe vera plants.

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  18. http://annieappleseedproject.org/images/HANDOUTNatural_Strategies_to_Reduce_Toxicities.pdf

    Our ALL-volunteer cancer advocacy nonprofit created this FREE Handout to help people PREVENT the toxicities that go along with conventional treatments like radiation or chemotherapy. Please take a look. There are many paths to wellness and we strongly support Integrative cancer therapy. Combining natural substances with conventional treatments if you choose that route. Ann F. president, Annie Appleseed Project

    Like

  19. Reblogged this on Lisa Higgins – massage across the table and commented:
    A really useful blog with ideas of how to minimise skin irritation during radiation. Thanks Breast Cancer Yoga.

    Like

  20. What a great list. Where I originally come from the aloe vera plant is a common household plant and my mother literally cut pieces and took with her to her radiation sessions and before she put her clothes back on she slathered the area with fresh aloe. She had no skin irritations at all.

    Like

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