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Feb 28, 2020

Can Radiation Therapy Cause A Rash?

Radiation therapy can be a life-saving treatment, but it is not without side-effects, and can cause rashes, sensitivity and damage to the skin.

What’s going on?

Radiotherapy, whether given via a machine, internal capsules, drinks or injections, is designed to kill cancer cells, and is the most effective cancer treatment after surgery. Unfortunately, in 95% of cases, external radiotherapy also damages healthy skin cells. 

A radiotherapy rash can seem a bit like sunburn, feeling sore and sensitive to the touch, or the skin can look darker or a different colour compared to your normal skin tone. It can appear a few days or a week after treatment, and stay dry, sensitive and itchy for some time, usually for 2-4 weeks.

For more detailed information about looking after your skin during radiotherapy, see our article How To Prevent Radiotherapy Burns And Radiation Dermatitis.

Take care of delicate skin while healing by washing with a gentle, unscented wash and moisturising regularly with good, unscented, non-irritant products.

Recommended products for looking after skin during radiotherapy: 

Balmonds Natural Shampoo & Body Wash
with calendula & chamomile

Balmonds Daily Moisturising Cream
with shea butter and calendula

Balmonds Intensive Hand Cream
with shea butter and sea buckthorn oil

Balmonds Cooling Cream
with shea, menthol, aloe vera & lavender

Balmonds Skin Salvation
with hemp and beeswax

Balmonds Rosehip Scar Oil.

Important Note

If you require medical advice we recommend you always contact your healthcare professional.

If you or someone you are caring for seems very unwell, is getting worse or you think there's something seriously wrong, call for emergency services straight away. For general medical advice, please contact your healthcare professional, this article does not contain or replace medical advice.

Do not delay getting help if you're worried. Trust your instincts.

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