Radiation Therapy: What to Expect
Peer Review Status: Internally Reviewed by Cancer Center Staff
Effects on the Skin
Creation Date: October 2002
Last Review Date: November 2006
Radiation can cause the skin to become red, itchy or both. You may want to:
- Wear loose, soft, cotton clothing over the area being treated.
- Avoid stiff or starched clothing near the area being treated.
- Do not put anything but mild soap (such as Dove) and lukewarm water on the skin in the treated area, unless the doctor or nurse says that it is safe to do so.
- Wash the area gently with your hand. Do not use a washcloth over the treated area.
- Do not scratch, rub or scrub the area.
- Do not put a heating pad or an ice pack on the area.
- Avoid girdles or any tight clothing in the treatment area.
- Do not use moisturizers/lotion 2 hours before your scheduled radiation treatment.
- Do not allow the treatment area to be in direct sunlight for at least one year.
To learn more about radiation therapy, contact the Cancer Information Service at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-237-1225.