Caring for your skin after radiation treatments for skin cancer
Treatment for skin cancer works by controlling the rapid growth of cancerous cells.
The harsh nature of the therapy often results in a variety of side effects that leave your skin red, raw, sensitive and sometimes sore.
Radiation therapies target cancer cells by slowing their rate of growth. It is in the deeper layers of our skin that our new cell growth takes place.
Then they move outward rapidly in order to replace the dead cells that we are sloughing off every day. Healthy skin cells are sometimes receiving damage as well as the targeted ones.
There are a few basic things you can do to help your skin feel more soothed during the healing time. The goal is to comfort your skin and help it repair its normal barrier (keep moisture in, and bacterias out) as it is getting used to the treatments or effect of treatments.
All of the regular things you should be doing for your skin, applies now more than ever. Avoid too much sun, drink lots of water, and eat a good variety of healthy foods.
Getting enough rest is critical for happy and healthy skin that can repair itself best and fight off what is needed.
Besides that, keep the below tips in mind.
CHOOSE PRODUCTS THAT HELP RETAIN MOISTURE- In particular, humectants and emollients.
DON'T USE ANYTHING TO EXFOLIATE THIS AREA- this includes any alpha hydroxy acids and scrubs, and even alcohol and peroxides.
*LOOK FOR PRODUCTS WITH VERY FEW INGREDIENTS IN THEM. Less is more here... Even fragrance can be too much, simplify.
For women, USE MAKEUP THAT MOISTURIZES AND HAS A SUN PROTECTION FACTOR IN IT. (SPF)