When I wrote my book When Cancer Hits, I talked to a number of survivors about side effects. Radiation burns came up again and again. These occur at the treatment site, and can get worse the more treatments you have. Sometimes, they can get so tender that you have to put off your next treatment to allow the skin to heal.
Any delay in your cancer treatment can be discouraging, as it prolongs your healing and also extends the time that you have to endure side effects. So dealing with these burns becomes a priority.
I did a post on radiation burns a couple years ago, but today, we have new tools to help you out, so I wanted to revisit the topic with updated recommendations. Try these out and let us know how they work for you!
How Do Radiation Treatments Cause Burns?
Radiation kills cancer cells, but on its way into the body to attack the tumor, it can also damage skin cells. Depending on the intensity or strength of the beam and how many sessions you have, the burns may range from minor redness and swelling, like a sunburn, to more severe blistering, peeling, and flaking.
When treating these types of burns, the standard, over-the-counter petroleum-based product just won’t cut it. Petroleum covers the skin, but does nothing to nourish or heal it, and can actually contribute to more dryness over the long-term. Chemical preservatives and fragrances can also contribute to the irritation and pain.
Instead, what you need when treating radiation burns is a) something to cool it down, b) something to heal it, and c) something to deeply moisturize.
Your perfect solution? CV Skinlabs products!
Cool the Heat with Rescue + Relief Spray
Formulated by cancer survivor and safe cosmetics expert Britta Aragon along with her team of doctors, CV Skinlabs products were made specifically for people suffering from the effects of cancer treatments, or who have other difficult skin conditions like excess dryness, redness and inflammation. Formulated with nourishing natural ingredients, these products provide soothing relief and accelerated healing.
For radiation burns, start with cooling down the heat. For that, you need Rescue + Relief Spray.
“When your skin is inflamed and sensitive from a sunburn or other sensitivities,” says Frank Lipman, integrative doctor and founder of Eleven-Eleven Wellness Center, “it’s extra important to treat it with serious TLC. For that, I recommend Rescue + Relief Spray by CV Skinlabs.”
- Provides instant, cooling relief-especially if you store it in the refrigerator
- Delivers deep, hydrating moisture while calming and soothing inflamed skin
- Aloe leaf juice soothes on contact
- Chamomile and cucumber work together to provide cooling and softening benefits
- Water lily naturally purifies and absorbs heat
- Valerian and comfrey tame inflammation, calming skin down and encouraging faster healing
- Unique Tri-Rescue Complex promotes wound-healing and speeds the repair of damaged skin
Apply by simply spraying on the burned area as often as needed. Tip: Take it with you and apply immediately after your radiation treatment before getting dressed.
Soothe the Damaged Skin with Restorative Skin Balm
After cooling the burn, the next thing you need to do is restore it! Burned skin is damaged and suffering from inflammation and a lack of moisture. After your Rescue + Relief spray dries, it’s time to apply Restorative Skin Balm.
“I spend hours in the kitchen and have a tendency to cut and burn myself often,” says Sara Jane Mercer, holistic health coach. “CV Skinlabs Restorative Skin Balm has become essential for me in treating my kitchen mishaps. I have noticed a dramatic decrease in scarring and healing time since I began using this incredible product.”
- 100% natural, non-petroleum, cure-all balm
- Instantly softens severely chapped and burned skin
- Calendula, sea buckthorn oil, and arnica provide fat-soluble vitamins, protective antioxidants, and naturally occurring phytochemicals to help heal and regenerate wounded skin
- Carnauba and bee’s wax safeguard the moisture barrier
- Vitamin E protects and speeds healing
- Tri-Rescue Complex restore more healthy skin
To use, simply apply where needed. It’s particularly effective when used overnight-wake up to softer, more comfortable skin.
Once the skin starts to heal, you want to keep the moisture coming to prevent scarring. Particularly if you need to go back in for another radiation treatment, you want your skin as protected and moisturized as possible, as that helps it better withstand the radiation. That means a little Body Repair Lotion at least a couple times a day.
“The Body Repair Lotion provided almost instant relief for my post-shaving bikini rash,” says Marta Wohrle, founder of Truth in Aging, “and within a couple of hours, the ugly red bumps had all but disappeared.”
- Calms inflammation and delivers long-lasting moisture
- Ideal for after-burn dryness and tightness
- Soothes irritation and redness
- Beta glucan and St. John’s wort possess super moisturizing, collagen-boosting wound healing abilities
- Calendula and aloe cool and soothe inflammation and pain
- Tri-Rescue Complex helps protect skin from future damage
Apply at least twice a day to the burned areas and anywhere else you need moisture.
Self-Care is Extremely Important
Radiation burns can be very painful and can get worse with each trip to the oncologist if you’re not careful. By following this regimen of care, you can help your skin heal more quickly and better withstand your cancer treatments-which means you can get well sooner.
No matter where you are on the cancer journey, it’s important to take time for tender self-care. Not only is your body going through the fight of its life, but so are you-the soul who lives inside. Cancer treatments can really affect our confidence in ways we probably weren’t prepared for. That’s why it’s so important to do everything we can to tend to the problem, while encouraging ourselves to keep our heads high.