Radiation Oncology Nurses and Therapists On the Front Line of Patient Care...
Radiation therapy can have significant side effects, including radiation dermatitis, which can affect a patient’s quality of life both during and after treatment. However, Calendula, a botanical substance extracted from a variety of marigold plant, can help to soothe and relieve the skin side effects of radiation therapy.
What is Calendula?
Calendula is a natural herb with powerful medicinal properties, including anti-inflammatory and wound-healing properties. It has been used for centuries as a medicinal herb, natural dye, and cosmetic ingredient. Today, Calendula is widely used in natural cosmetic skin-care products and as an alternative to traditional creams containing harmful chemicals.
Calendula's natural benefits for sensitive skin combined with anti-inflammatory properties of the plant, help with wound healing and 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.
My Girls™ Skin Care: A Plant-Based Solution for Radiation-Induced Dermatitis
My Girls™ Skin Care is recommended in the top US cancer treatment centers for radiation-induced dermatitis*. The cream contains 10% Calendula Officianalis Extract and rose petal extract, both of which have anti-inflammatory properties.
Research on Calendula and Benefits for Radiation-Induced Dermatitis
Studies have shown that Calendula can help to reduce skin reactions and manage skin-related side effects of radiation therapy. For example, a study involving over 250 breast cancer patients showed that applying a calendula-based cream twice a day from the start of radiation therapy can significantly reduce the occurrence of acute dermatitis and the need for radiation treatment interruption. Other studies listed below, have demonstrated the effectiveness of calendula in promoting healing in animals that suffered burn injuries. For a summary of research findings and citations with respect to the benefits of calendula for radiation-induced dermatitis, please click here.
Natural Alternative to Standard of Care
My Girls™ Skin Care is a safe, effective, and natural alternative to traditional topical agents for managing the skin side effects of radiation therapy. Our devoted team of skincare experts are continuously developing new products to address the needs of those who suffer from sensitive skin conditions. Moreover, a portion of profits is donated to quality of life measures in patient care and groundbreaking cancer research.
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.
2008 - a 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.
2011 - 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.
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.
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.
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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.
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:
- Medications to treat high blood pressure
- Medications to treat diabetes
- 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
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* "85% patient satisfaction with the lotion use on intact skin vs. petroleum based gel"
International Journal of Radiation Oncology