Radiation Dermatitis Research

Radiation Oncology Nurses and Therapists On the Front Line of Patient Care...

are well aware of the benefits of Calendula as a plant-based alternative for radiation burn skin care and as an alternative to traditional creams to relieve the skin side effects of radiation therapy so patients can better tolerate their treatments. With advancements in the delivery of radiation, skin side effects may in some cases be reduced, yet radiation dermatitis remains one of the most common side effects of radiation therapy. This condition can affect a patient’s quality of life both during and after treatment so managing skin side effects during and after treatment is an important part of quality of care. 

What is Calendula?

Calendula is a botanical substance extracted from a variety marigold plant that has long been reveled for its powerful medicinal properties including soothing irritated skin, radiation burns, acne, rosacea and reducing inflammation and redness. During the Civil War, it’s reported that calendula flowers were applied to soldiers’ wounds to prevent skin infection and aid healing. In fact, Calendula flowers were used in ancient Greek, Roman, Middle Eastern, and Indian cultures as a medicinal herb, as well as a natural dye for fabrics, foods, and cosmetics. Many of these uses persist today. They are also used to make oil that protects the skin and help scratches and shallow cuts heal faster and prevent infection.


Calendula skincare creams have widespread appeal, especially in Europe and Asia, for use in natural cosmetic skin-care products that reduce redness and improve clarity and as an alternative to body moisturizing creams containing parabens and petroleum. These benefits combined with anti-inflammatory properties of the plant and help with wound healing are what make My Girls™ Skin Care uniquely suited to soothing and plumping dry, delicate, burned or irritated skin that may result from medical and dermatological procedures.


Our plant-based, calendula skin care cream is recommended in US radiation oncology and treatment centers for radiation-induced dermatitis*My Girls™ Skin Care contains 10% Calendula Officianalis Extract; more than homeopathic creams and lotions, plus rose petal extract - a natural herb also with anti-inflammatory properties. This is primarily the reason why it has developed a following among radiation oncology clinicians and breast cancer patients and others whom suffer from skin side effects of radiation therapy for cancer.

As many customers use My Girls™ Skin Care for many sensitive skin conditions, our devoted team of skincare experts are continously developing new products to address the needs of those whom suffer with sensitive skin side effects that may accompany medical treatments. Our customers love our products because they have heard about the product's benefits and know that we do not use harmful chemicals, fragrance or synthetic dyes.  Additionally, a portion of profits are donated to quality of life measures in patient care and groundbreaking cancer research.

Research on Calendula and Benefits for Radiation-induced Dermatitis

For a summary of research findings and citations with respect to the benefits of calendula for radiation-induced dermatitis, please click here

Briefly, in 2003, a study implicating over 250 breast cancer patients showed it was possible to drastically diminish and even halt the spread of eczema or radiation-induced dermatitis while undergoing radiation for breast cancer when a calendula-based cream was topically applied twice a day from the very start of the procedures. The occurrence of acute dermatitis of grade 2 or higher was significantly lower (41% v 63%; P  .001) with the use of calendula than with trolamine. Moreover, patients receiving calendula had less frequent interruption of radiotherapy and significantly reduced radiation-induced skin side effects.

A 2008 study from the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition found that applying calendula extract to skin helped promote healing in animals that suffered burn injuries. Burn discomfort most often treated with calendula include sunburns, shave burns, laser burns and radiation burns.

In 2011, the Oncology Nursing Society published a resource on Radiodermatitis and skin reactions that may occur during radiation therapy, based on the Society's nursing-sensitive patient outcomes and evidence-based practice (EBP) work. In the second volume of Putting Evidence Into Practice: Improving Oncology Patient Outcomes, they summarize findings on topical agents and report that patients who used calendula experienced fewer skin reactions and needed less frequent radiation treatment interruption to manage skin-related side effects of radiation therapy.

Additionally in 2015, a skin test comparing calendula creams to petroleum-based gel; Implementing Evidence Based Practice in the Prevention of Radiodermatitis in an Outpatient Radiation Oncology Department published by Elsevier Inc. in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology, the Official Journal of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO), demonstrated significant effectiveness in decreasing radiation dermatitis to support a change in practice with 85% patient satisfaction with the lotion (calendula) use on intact skin over petroleum based gels. 

In 2017, research entitled "Acute Radiation Dermatitis in Breast Cancer Patients: Challenges and Solutions" by Adam J Kole(1), Lauren Kole(2), Meena S Moran(1) 1 Department of Therapeutic Radiology, 2 Department of Dermatology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA, published by Dove Press concluded "Lower rates of acute grade 2+ dermatitis have been seen with calendula ointment, extracted from the Calendula officinalis plant and traditionally used as a topical anti-inflammatory agent in wound healing, when compared to trolamine."  Research summarizes the available literature regarding radiation dermatitis causes, the presentation and timing of symptoms, methods for dermatitis assessment and prevention, and review evidence-based management strategies.

#BreastCancer #Radiotherapy #RadiationDermatitis #SkinToxicity #Cancer #ClinicalTrials #Research #Samples #Calendula #RadiationTherapy


The use of herbs is a time-honored approach to strengthening the body and treating disease. Herbs, however, can trigger side effects and can interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications. For these reasons, you should take herbs with care, under the supervision of a health care provider.

Calendula is generally considered safe to use on your skin. DO NOT apply it to an open wound without a doctor's supervision. People who are allergic to plants in the daisy or aster family, including chrysanthemums and ragweed, may also have an allergic reaction to calendula (usually a skin rash).

Pregnant and breastfeeding women should not use calendula. In theory, calendula could interfere with conception, and possibly cause miscarriage, so couples trying to get pregnant should not use calendula.

Possible Interactions

There are no known scientific reports of interactions between calendula and conventional or herbal medications. In theory, taking calendula orally may interact with the following medications, so talk to your doctor before combining these drugs with calendula:
  • Sedatives
  • Medications to treat high blood pressure
  • Medications to treat diabetes


  1. https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/integrative-medicine/herbs/calendula
  2. http://pennstatehershey.adam.com/content.aspx?productId=107&pid=33&gid=000228
  3. https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/natural/235.html
  4. Phase III Randomized Trial of Calendula Officinalis Compared With Trolamine for the Prevention of Acute Dermatitis During Irradiation for Breast Cancer P. Pommier, F. Gomez, M.P. Sunyach, A. D’Hombres, C. Carrie, and X. Montbarbon
  5. https://www.ons.org/intervention/calendula
  6. http://altmedicine.about.com/od/skinconditions/a/Remedies-For-A-Burn.htm
  7. http://www.redjournal.org/article/S0360-3016(15)02472-4/fulltext
  8. http://www.naturalnews.com/043669_calendula_inflammation_chemotherapy.html#
  9. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calendula#Pharmacological_effects

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* "85% patient satisfaction with the lotion use on intact skin vs. petroleum based gel" 
International Journal of Radiation Oncology