How To Take Care Of Your Skin During Radiation Therapy
Radiation therapy plays a crucial role in treating cancer. It can also cause possible side effects just like medication. With the right skincare routine during radiation therapy, a patient can reduce the side effects on the skin and make their skin feel more comfortable.
It’s also worth mentioning that the type of skin reaction will depend on the part of the body that’s being treated and the type and dose of radiation that a patient is getting. Radiation burns are among the top skin reactions caused by radiation therapy. Fortunately, there is a radiation burn treatment option that a patient can choose.
Since there is a possibility that radiation therapy can affect your daily life, you need to take care of your skin. Here are some general tips to help you feel better during and after radiation therapy.
1. Keep your skin clean
Keeping your skin clean is one of the top ways to take care of yourself during radiation.
- Use lukewarm water when bathing and if you must use soap, use only mild unscented soap.
- Be gentle with your skin when washing, especially the area of the skin that’s being treated. Don’t use a brush, scrubbing cloth, or washcloth.
- Avoid shaving the hair around the area that’s being treated. However, if you must shave, use an electric razor.
- Do not squeeze or scratch pimples.
- Rinse well after swimming in a pool since chlorine tends to dry the skin.
- Protect the skin area that’s being treated from the sun by wearing sunscreen.
2. Moisturize your skin more often
Moisturizing your skin more often will keep it hydrated and prevent peeling. Start using a moisturizer immediately when you start treatment. This will help to reduce skin reactions. When selecting a moisturizer, choose one that’s fragrance-free or lanolin-free. You can buy an over-the-counter moisturizer or speak to a nurse who will recommend one for you. Remember to use only one at a time.
- Apply the moisturizer at least twice a day.
- Don’t apply moisturizer to open areas on the skin.
3. Eat a balanced diet
Of course, the body needs nutrients to repair itself from radiation therapy effects. If you are having radiation therapy, especially in areas such as head, neck, or abdomen, this can affect your ability to eat properly. So you may speak to a nutritionist who can suggest a proper diet to help you cope with the side effects of radiation therapy.
4. Get plenty of rest
Resting is very important when one is receiving radiation therapy. Some of the side effects of radiation therapy include making a patient feel more tired than normal. So it’s advisable to get adequate sleep at night as much as possible. A patient can also take a short nap, read, or listen to music to help them feel more energetic.
Radiation therapy will not only kill the cancer cells, but it may also kill the skin cells leading to skin reactions. This is why it’s important to take care of your skin when receiving radiation therapy. This way, you will reduce the side effects on your skin and allow your skin to recover more quickly.