• Radiation Burn

    Asked by Lorie on Saturday, May 30, 2015

    Radiation Burn

    Hi! Had accelerated rads after lumpectomy and did well til 3rd week. Used Aquaphor from the beginning but noticed that when I put it on now, there is a sensation like little bees stinging me there for a couple hours afterwards. Onc said to try mixing the aquaphor with equal amount of 2.5% hydrocodone and that seems to make it worst. Used aloe (right from the garden) past two days and get 2 minutes of good relief and then the stinging starts again.

    Is there a time after rads (finished this past Thurs.) that we should just leave it alone and let it heal with just air? No blisters, just very sensitive to everything and red blotches.

    Thank you and cyber hugs to all on this journey.

    16 Answers from the Community

    16 answers
    • Ejourneys' Avatar

      I had standard fractionation rads. My pain was gone five days after I finished; my blisters were healed within two weeks. In the meantime I slathered myself with Vitamin A&D Ointment during the night and when at home and used the non-greasy Curel Intensive Healing lotion when I went out. I also wore old, loose sports bras. Gentle (((Hugs))) back!

      over 1 year ago
    • Lorie's Avatar

      Thanks. Sorry you had blisters. Did you have whole breast rads? I forgot to mention that I did and that might make a difference on how quickly it heals.
      Yes, you are right "Gentle" hugs:)

      over 1 year ago
    • cllinda's Avatar

      I was given lotion to use during and after treatments. I probably put it on for six months after treatment was over. Then I found a nice Aveeno cream to put on and I used that for a while too. Now I don't use anything. It was probably a year before I stopped using lotion or creams. But that's just me.

      over 1 year ago
    • Penny82's Avatar

      I work as a radiation therapist and I would suggest putting your aloe in the fridge a little while before applying it, the coolness may help soothe. Also you can try a cool wet towel. Time is really the only thing that will heal you up quick. If you can get the doctor to prescribe a medication called silvadene that may help with the pain. Don't use it if you have a sulfa allergy though. The common rule for healing is if it moist keep it dry and if it is dry keep it moist. With as delicate as your skin is now you don't want to leave it to dry out (unless it is moist) because it may crack and then you would be in more pain. Good luck.

      over 1 year ago
    • Ejourneys' Avatar

      Thanks, Lorie. I had intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), which treated the whole breast but used 11 distinct fields to protect my heart and lung (my tumor was on the left side). The blisters really looked much worse than they felt. I didn't get them until five weeks in. Near the end, my pain was at most a 3 out of 10 and most times it didn't get past 2. They just really looked like c r a p. :-)

      over 1 year ago
    • geekling's Avatar

      Yarrow can be brewed as a tea, cooled, and used as a poultice or in a sitz bath against burns.

      Calunda (from marigolds) may provide some relief. Emu oil and/or coconut oil may also help.

      Honey and/or colloidal silver can/will keep the burns from becoming infected.

      There are others. The list is long.

      over 1 year ago
    • BarbarainBham's Avatar

      I would add to not wear any kind of bra right now, so it won't rub and cause blisters. If you wear woven blouses rather than knits, it won't be as noticeable.

      Check ingredients of your creams and be sure they don't have alcohol in them, which could be why your skin burns. Treat it like a severe sunburn, and keep it moist without using something that irritates it. After it's well, I don't know of any reason to use the cream. Best wishes!

      over 1 year ago
    • Teachergirl's Avatar

      The best thing I found was 2 products that worked within a day of using them: My Girls and the the other was Miaderm. Both are non greasy, non staining and were made specifically for breast radiation. I used the My Girls for a year after radiation. Got them both on line. Best wishes

      over 1 year ago
    • pixiesmom's Avatar

      I used pure aloe vera gel as soon as I started turning red and kept it up the entire time. My Oncologist was OK with it and it kept my skin from totally freaking out.

      Wishing you the best of luck. :)

      over 1 year ago
    • msesq's Avatar

      My radiologist told me to use Calendula cream which I found at Whole Foods (and on Amazon). Later when I got really itchy I used Calendula ointment or Aquaphor which soothed the itch.

      over 1 year ago
    • DebraC's Avatar

      Miaderm was the cream I used, plus aloe. Also, please wear a cami under your bra, it really helps!

      over 1 year ago
    • fiddler's Avatar

      I used calendula GEL (not the cream) and it worked well for me. Calendula is for sunburn. After each "zap" I slathered it on before I dressed.

      over 1 year ago
    • Jesse0218's Avatar

      My radiation oncologist gave me the 1% hydrocortisone cream first. Then Aquaphor to use with it. When I blistered, they did give me the silver sulfadene to use and where I'd get rubbed, they said to put the sulfadene on first and Aquaphor on top of it. They told me not to wear a bra, but when I tried going without it, it made the rest of the area itch worse. I ended up putting my bra back on but used ABD pads between my bra and where I had bad rubs or blisters. I did that for even a couple weeks after I finished and decided I was tired of all that extra work, so I stopped. My skin was ok by then and that worked for me. My skin is really sensitive but I lucked out with the skin problems. I did bleed a little bit the night I finished, but that was the only time. The itching drove me nuts. The nurse told me to take Benadryl for the itch. That can flatten me real quick but I was ok with children's Benadryl and went through a bottle of that in just a few days. I'm pretty good now. Almost healed except the swelling doesn't seem to be going down. Guess that will take time and then the plastic surgeon said we'll talk about evening me up on the other side. Good luck to you!

      over 1 year ago
    • luv's Avatar

      I refused alpa creams from doc and used sonessorganics.com they sell a radiation cream I ordered one jar and it worked for the whole treatment! I never got a burn and my skin is very fair, I have red in my hair. Please order this! also put pure aloe in the fridge and apply to your burn. Also get the drinkable aloe, I drank it all through radiation. I drink it now as well,

      over 1 year ago
    • JNW's Avatar

      I used calendula lotion for about two weeks. My skin is pretty fragile, so it got bad pretty quick. As @Penny82 suggested, silvadene will help protect skin that starts to lose the protecting layer. Keeping that area dry, but not too dry is important. My OT suggested this aloe vera pad, which was really cool and I would totally use it on a sunburn, but my rad onc said it wouldn't help and it didn't help me, but you can see by the variety of answers that it's hard to know. I'd suggest with certainly making sure you stay moisturized ... and hydrated! Then just experiment to see what works best for you and is rad tech/onc approved. Maybe you will only end up with a bit of a sunburn! :-)

      over 1 year ago
    • mofields' Avatar

      I also blistered and had open burns during my radiation treatment on my left breast. Much of the blistering was in my armpit. My rad team gave me two ointments - Radiaplex and Biafine (both worked wonders), then gave me gel sheets that I put in the fridge and applied especially after a shower. The other trick was Mepilex pads that worked as a second skin and helped the blisters heal. They also recommended brewing green tea in a cup and let it steep for an hour then use on a compress or squirt it on the affected area (helped the skin stay moist). Once the pink skin started, I knew I was on the mend.

      over 1 year ago

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