Question: How Can I Protect My Skin From Radiation?

What happens to your skin during radiation?

Sometimes radiation therapy can cause the skin on the part of your body receiving radiation to become dry and peel, itch (called pruritus), and turn red or darker.

Your skin may look sunburned or become swollen or puffy.

You may develop sores that become painful, wet, and infected.

This is called a moist reaction..

How long does it take for skin to heal after radiation?

For it to heal, the skin needs time to regenerate, a process that may take two to four weeks for mild reactions, or several months or more for serious injuries. In the interim, various supportive care therapies may be used to soothe the itching and pain that often results.

What is the first sign of too much radiation?

The initial signs and symptoms of treatable radiation sickness are usually nausea and vomiting. The amount of time between exposure and when these symptoms develop is a clue to how much radiation a person has absorbed.

Does radiation weaken your immune system?

Radiation therapy can potentially affect your immune system, especially if a significant amount of bone marrow is being irradiated because of its role in creating white blood cells. However, this doesn’t typically suppress the immune system enough to make you more susceptible to infections.

How soon do side effects start after radiation?

Side effects depend on where the radiation is aimed. Some side effects might show up quickly, but others might not show up until 1 to 2 years after treatment. Talk with your radiation oncologist about what to watch for and when to call your doctor.

What does radiation burn look like?

After 1–3 weeks burn symptoms appear; erythema, increased skin pigmentation (dark colored patches and raised areas), followed by epilation and skin lesions. Erythema occurs after 5–15 Gy, dry desquamation after 17 Gy, and bullous epidermitis after 72 Gy. Chronic radiation keratosis may develop after higher doses.

What should you avoid during radiation?

Foods to avoid or reduce during radiation therapy include sodium (salt), added sugars, solid (saturated) fats, and an excess of alcohol. Some salt is needed in all diets. Your doctor or dietitian can recommend how much salt you should consume based on your medical history.

What happens to your breast after radiation?

The main short-term side effects of external beam radiation therapy to the breast are: Swelling in the breast. Skin changes in the treated area similar to a sunburn (redness, skin peeling, darkening of the skin) Fatigue.

Can I drive myself to radiation therapy?

Almost all patients are able to drive while receiving radiotherapy treatment. However, with some types of cancer, driving may NOT be recommended due to fatigue or strong pain medication. Your physician will be able to address your specific case.

What are the long term side effects of radiation?

What are the most common long-term side effects of radiation?Cataracts.Hair loss.Hearing loss.Memory loss (“It’s hard to determine how much memory loss or cognitive dysfunction is related to a tumor and how much is related to radiotherapy,” says Dr. Nowlan.

What are the long term effects of breast radiation?

Long-term side effects can last beyond a year after treatment. They may include a slight darkening of your skin, enlarged pores on your breast, more or less sensitive skin, thickening of breast tissue or skin, and a change in the size of the breast.

Will my skin go back to normal after radiation?

Your skin should start to feel better a few weeks after radiation therapy ends. Be warned, though: When your skin heals, it may be a darker color. What’s more, you’ll still need to protect yourself from the sun — even after radiation therapy has ended.

Does Vitamin D Help with radiation?

Summary: A form of vitamin D could protect us against damage from low levels of radiation according to new research in the International Journal of Low Radiation.

Do you gain weight with radiation?

Your body needs more calories now, so you may need to eat more than usual. A dietitian from the radiation therapy clinic can help you set up a food plan. Tell your physician or nurse if you experience any significant weight loss or weight gain. We will check your weight weekly.

What should you put on your skin after radiation?

Manage irritation during and after your course of radiationAt the beginning of treatment, before you have any side effects, moisturize the skin after your daily treatment with an ointment such as A&D, Eucerin, Aquaphor, Biafene, or Radiacare. … For mild pinkness, itching, and burning, apply an aloe vera preparation.More items…•

Can you shower after radiation treatment?

Bathe or shower only once a day. Bathe for only a short period of time, just long enough to cleanse yourself. Soap and water can cause your skin to become more dry. Do not shave the treatment area.

Does radiation shorten your life?

chemotherapy, radiation therapy and other cancer treatments cause aging at a genetic and cellular level, prompting DNA to start unraveling and cells to die off sooner than normal. bone marrow transplant recipients are eight times more likely to become frail than their healthy siblings.

What does your breast look like after radiation?

Some people may continue to have a slightly pinkish or tan hue to their skin for years after treatment. And a few people may notice a small patch of tiny blood vessels on the skin of the radiated breast area. These vessels — called telangiectasias — look like a tangle of thin red lines.