Quick Answer: Does Radiation Affect Skin?

Can radiation treatment cause skin problems?

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..

Does radiation shorten your life?

Cancer survivors tend to have shorter telomeres than normal persons at the same age. This means that they are older than their actual years. It could be the intensive and toxic chemotherapy and radiation therapy that has led to this finding say researchers.

How long after radiation do you start to feel better?

Early side effects, such as nausea and fatigue, usually don’t last long. They may start during or right after treatment and last for several weeks after it ends, but then they get better. Late side effects, such as lung or heart problems, may take years to show up and are often permanent when they do.

What are the long term side effects of radiation?

Chemotherapy and radiation therapy can cause long-term side effects to the brain, spinal cord, and nerves. These include: Hearing loss from high doses of chemotherapy, especially drugs like cisplatin (multiple brand names) Increased risk of stroke from high doses of radiation to the brain.

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.

How can you protect your skin from radiation?

Skin Care during Radiation TherapyKeep skin in treated area dry.Gently wash skin daily with warm water and a mild soap (like Dove) and pat dry.Do not use any lotions, creams, perfumes, powders, cosmetics, tape or deodorants on the skin where your radiation is given.Do not rub or massage the treated area.More items…

How long does radiation burn last?

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 does radiation burn look like?

About 2 to 3 weeks after your first radiation treatment, you may notice redness and/or irritation in the area of treatment. It may look like a sunburn. The skin may be itchy, dry, red or sore. These changes are an expected part of your therapy and are temporary.

How long does it take for immune system to recover after radiation?

It might take from 10 days to many months for the immune system to recover completely.

How long will my breast hurt after radiation?

Your breast or chest area may appear swollen and feel uncomfortable. This usually settles within a few weeks after treatment. If it continues after this time, talk to your specialist or breast care nurse as you may need to be seen and assessed by a lymphoedema specialist.

Can you shower after radiation treatment?

Bathe or shower daily using warm water and a mild unscented soap, such as Neutrogena®, Dove®, baby soap, Basis®, or Cetaphil®. Rinse your skin well and pat it dry with a soft towel. When washing, be gentle with your skin in the area being treated. Don’t use a washcloth, scrubbing cloth, loofah or brush.

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.

What happens to skin after radiation?

One of the most common side effects is a skin condition called radiation dermatitis, which can range from a mild, red rash (erythema) and itchy, peeling or flaking skin (dry desquamation) to a more severe reaction with blisters and wet, peeling skin (moist desquamation).

What is the best cream to use 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…•

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.

What is the most common acute side effect of radiation treatment?

Fatigue is the most common acute side effect of radiation therapy. It is believed to be caused by the tremendous amount of energy that is used by the body to heal itself in response to radiation therapy.

How does radiation burn your skin?

High exposure to X-rays during diagnostic medical imaging or radiotherapy can also result in radiation burns. As the ionizing radiation interacts with cells within the body—damaging them—the body responds to this damage, typically resulting in erythema—that is, redness around the damaged area.