Radiation can be an extremely effective treatment for many types of cancer, but in the process of treatment, it can also take a significant toll on skin, causing issues like irritation, itching, excess dryness and tenderness, all of which can be especially upsetting during a period of time when your body and your mind are already stressed out. These issues are referred to as radiation dermatitis , and treating the condition successfully can often prove problematic, especially since these changes occur in different levels of the skin and can become progressively more noticeable as radiation treatment progress.
Radiation Effects on the Skin
Radiation is designed to be administered through the skin, which is one of its benefits: Patients can receive treatment for cancer without the need for invasive surgery that can destroy healthy tissue and place the body under extreme duress. But ironically, that same advantage can also be a disadvantage when it comes to skin health. The ionizing beams of radiation can cause temporary changes in the skin that make it more difficult for it to retain moisture while also increasing the risk of irritation. Prolonged courses of radiation and repeated treatments can enhance these damaging effects, and treatments that are performed close to the skin surface are also associated with higher levels of skin “breakdown” that's associated with more pronounced symptoms. Areas where the skin is normally protected, such as in the skin folds under the breast, under the arm and in the groin area can be especially prone to developing radiation dermatitis.
Sometimes, changes won't become apparent for several days or even weeks after treatment, especially following an initial course of radiation. Patients who have repeated courses tend to experience skin breakdown earlier.
Finding Relief for Radiation Dermatitis
There is some good news when it comes to radiation dermatitis: First, the condition will eventually resolve once treatment ends. Second, the effects of radiation dermatitis are confined to the treatment area and won't spread to other areas of your body. And finally, there are special creams that can help relieve symptoms and help skin return to its normal, healthy state.
Of all the products available today to treat radiation dermatitis, calendula creams have proven especially effective. The active ingredients in calendula act to protect skin, restoring skin health and relieving symptoms of itchiness and soreness while promoting a faster return to normalcy once radiation treatment ends.
My Girls™ Skin Care Calendula Skin Care Cream uses all-natural ingredients to help avoid additional irritation issues that can arise when artificial colors or harsh chemicals are used on sensitive skin. Plus, the pure formulation allows calendula's natural anti-inflammatory properties to penetrate skin for more comprehensive healing aimed at addressing all the symptoms of radiation dermatitis. To learn more about the clinical study conducted by The Cleveland Clinic using My Girls Skin Care cream on breast cancer patients experiencing radiation dermatitis, please click here mygirlscream.com/research/