WEDNESDAY, Oct. 21, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Proper skin care is crucial for cancer patients receiving radiation therapy, the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) says.
Itchiness, redness, blistering and peeling are among the skin problems that radiation therapy can cause.
"During radiation therapy, the treated skin becomes very sensitive, which can cause painful rashes and delays in care," said dermatologist Dr. Anisha Patel, from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.
"To reduce pain or discomfort from radiation therapy and increase your ability to continue treatment, it's important to consult a board-certified dermatologist prior to the start of any cancer therapies and avoid doing things that can further irritate the treated skin, such as spending time outdoors without sun protection or using harsh skin care products," Patel said in an AAD news release.
Here she offers several tips:
"After radiation therapy, pay close attention to the skin that was treated, as radiation therapy can increase your risk of developing certain types of infections, as well as skin cancer," Patel said. "Some side effects can occur weeks, months or even years after your last radiation treatment -- even if you had no side effects during treatment. If you see redness, a rash, or any other changes on your skin, call your oncologist or dermatologist."
The American Cancer Society has more on radiation therapy.
SOURCE: American Academy of Dermatology, news release, Oct. 13, 2020