Acner.org: Acne treatment

Acner.org: Acne treatment

What Are the Treatments for Radiation Skin Damage?

What Are the Treatments for Radiation Skin Damage? What Are the Treatments for Radiation Skin Damage?

Exposure to sources of high intensity radiation, as the result of radiation therapy, or accidental or occupational exposure, may result in severe damage to the skin. Depending upon the severity of the damage, the affected area may be red and swollen accompanied by numbness, tingling and itchiness. While natural regeneration and healing will occur, there are some treatment strategies that can be used to aid the healing process.

Creams and Moisturizers

When treating radiation-damaged skin, avoid topical skin care creams and moisturizers that contain fragrances, deodorants and alcohol-based solutions. Products containing aloe or vitamin E are both good soothing and pro-healing moisturizing creams. When applying topical creams and moisturizers, care should be taken to not to be abrasive or rough. Patients with severe wounds should seek a physician's approval prior to using any over-the-counter products.

Anti-Itch Medications

A complication associated with radiation skin damage is itchiness of the affected area. Some itchiness may be relieved by the application of an approved cream or moisturizer. However, if the itchiness is severe, a physician may recommend the use of an anti-itch medication. Active ingredients in soothing creams may include glycerin, eucalyptus, camphor, menthol or calamine, notes the Merck Manual Home Edition. In addition, oral antihistamines such as doxepin may be prescribed.

Anti-Inflammatory Drugs

Inflammation of the area may be associated with radiation skin damage. In these cases, anti-inflammatory drugs may be necessary. In addition to common non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen, topical corticosteroids may also be applied to the site of damage. The most common topical corticosteroid, hydrocortisone, can be found as an over-the-counter product in concentrations from 0.5 to 1 percent.

Antibiotics

In rare cases, usually due to secondary abrasion of the affected area, the damaged area may become infected or susceptible to infection. Should this occur, a physician will prescribe antibiotics to be used in conjunction with pro-healing topical moisturizers and creams. Physicians may also prescribe topical antibiotics to treat or prevent infections in skin that has significant radiation damage.

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