Radiation dermatitis is a significant side effect of external beam ionizing radiation most commonly used for radiotherapy of various spreading cancers, called malignancies. It is also called radiodermatitis, x-ray dermatitis, radiation skin damage, or a radiation burn.
An estimated 95% of patients receiving radiation therapy will experience some degree of skin reaction, which may include erythema, dry desquamation, and moist desquamation.
Repeated radiation exposure causes an imbalance in the tissue damage and repair cycle so that exposed skin is damaged faster than it can repair itself. Factors that increase the risk and severity of skin reactions include high daily and cumulative radiation doses, the type of beam used to deliver the radiation, a large treatment field, treatment to areas with skin folds (such as the head and neck, the groin or under the breast), and whether the radiation was delivered with chemotherapy.
The use of NeoGenesis skincare products, Moisturizing Mist, Recovery and Intensive Moisturizer, is highly recommended to help moisturize and relieve discomfort and redness of the affected areas of skin.
Patients receiving radiation therapy should be advised to avoid sun exposure by covering the treated area with protective clothing or SPF 50+ broad-spectrum sunscreen. Also, avoid topical skin irritants, such as perfumes, deodorants, and alcohol-based lotions, and don’t scratch of the affected area.