Radiation dermatitis or radiation-induced skin reaction (RISR) usually lasts about 2-4 weeks.
Your skin might well get worse for a while before it gets better, but will generally be healed over and less sensitive to irritation after a month.
Note that skin at the radiation site might look different after it’s healed for quite some time. Post-radiotherapy skin can be affected by hyperpigmentation where skin is a different colour, texture and tone to surrounding areas (which can mean darker or silvery patches on skin of colour, or tanned, red or pearly-pink areas on white skin) for a good while; up to six months is common, but some changes can last much longer.
Take care of delicate skin while healing by moisturising regularly with good, unscented, non-irritant products. If you're worried about pigmentation, scarring or changes of skin texture after radiotherapy, try Balmonds Rosehip Scar Oil, which is rich in regenerative rosehip, anti-inflammatory calendula and chamomile, and calming lavender, to even out skin tone and smooth uneven patches.
See How To Look After Your Skin Before, During And After Chemotherapy for a detailed guide to looking after your skin during radio- and chemotherapy.
Recommended products for looking after skin during radiotherapy:
Daily Moisturising Cream with calendula, shea and hemp seed oil, from £13.99 for 100ml
Intensive Hand Cream with seabuckthorn, calendula, chamomile and shea, from £10.99 for 50ml
Cooling Cream with menthol, aloe, lavender and calendula, £19 for 100ml
Skin Salvation with hemp seed, beeswax & calendula, from £7.99 for 30ml
Balmonds Rosehip Scar Oil with rosehip, lavender, calendula & chamomile, £18.99 for 50ml
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.