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Home > The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center > Patient Information > Patient Education > Managing Side Effects
Skin Care during Radiation Therapy
One of the most common side effects from radiation therapy is reddened or irritated skin. It is important for you to be gentle with your skin during radiation therapy. The following tips will help decrease skin irritation and breakdown. Most skin reactions will go away a few weeks after treatment is finished.
- Keep 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. Wear loose, cotton fiber clothing to reduce irritation.
- Avoid extreme hot and cold temperatures to the skin, for example: heating pads, hot water bottles, ice, etc.
- You may use an electric razor for shaving hair in the treated area. Men should not use after-shave if receiving radiation to head and neck area.
- Avoid direct sun exposure to the treated area. If you must go outside, wear loose fitting clothing and use a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Sunscreen must be used on treated skin for the rest of your life. Skin that has received any radiation will be more sensitive and burn easily.
- Please DO NOT wash off purple treatment marks or remove adhesive dots or covering (like Tegaderm). These are needed for correct positioning on the treatment machine.
Notify your clinic doctor or nurse for any signs of skin irritation such as
Redness, Itching, Discomfort, Blisters, Drainage, Bleeding
Disclaimer: All Information provided is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for medical advice for your specific condition.