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How to prevent skin damage from radiation treatment

24 September 2019

Radiation therapy during cancer treatment is a lifesaving treatment. Over 50 percent of cancer sufferers will undergo radiation therapy as part of their cancer treatment program.

The X-rays of radiation therapy shrink or destroy cancer cells but because radiation injures or kills healthy cells as well as cancer cells in the treated area, it can also cause the exposed skin to peel off more quickly than it can grow back, causing sores or ulcers.

These wounds feel and look like burns, however the term is inaccurate (though widely used, even by medical practitioners) because radiation treatment does not actually burn the skin.

Radiation dermatitis (radiation 'burns')

Instead, the common acute skin reactions to radiation treatment are known as radiation dermatitis. This ranges from a mild rash known as erythema, to flaky, shedding skin (dry desquamation) to the worst effect - severe ulcerated, blistered and peeling wet skin (moist desquamation).

A large number (85 percent) of patients who undergo radiation therapy experience moderate to severe skin reactions during and/or afterward (source: peer reviewed medical journal, Current Oncology).

These painful side effects will be even more likely if the radiation treatment takes place after a course of chemotherapy.

How to avoid the trauma of radiation burns

Thankfully, there IS a way to completely avoid radiation burns and skin irritation. Undergoing radiation therapy during cancer treatment need not cause distress.

It is possible to be able to tolerate the numerous radiation treatments that are usually required without experiencing any blisters, rashes or skin irritation.

Let us tell you about the ease with which some of our customers have managed side effects of radiation therapy.

Skin needs extra support during radiation therapy

During radiation therapy for cancer treatment, skin needs extra support to alleviate and hopefully totally prevent the trauma of radiation burns.

Traditionally, skin products prescribed during radiation therapy only put a lubricating film over the skin, which does little to stop the skin opening up and cracking.

The nutritive cream that prevents radiation burns 

What is needed is a nutritive cream that penetrates deeply and helps the skin to restore and repair itself. It should also be mentioned to avoid using any cream over the area that contains metal oxides as these will intensify the burn - avoid anything containing zinc oxide, titanium dioxide including foundation, any tinted face or body moisturisers, or calamine lotion. This applies only to the specific area being treated.

According to many customer and treatment centre reports, Simplicité’s Nutritive Body Lotion reduces blistering, burns and redness and assists healing in patients undergoing radiation and chemotherapy.

With active doses of high-quality plant extracts, the nutritive lotion works to soothe and calm the outer layer of skin while helping to repair deeper layers of skin tissue.

Formulated by naturopath and skin specialist David Lyons, Simplicité Nutritive Body Lotion does not use petroleum-based emulsifiers that can irritate stressed skin. Instead, nutritive active herbal ingredients that are extracted in our laboratory from medicinal grade plants are used.

Our carefully selected ingredients are designed to complement and potentiate each other, creating a potent formula that moisturises, repairs and soothes.

Apply lotion immediately after radiation therapy treatment

For best results with radiation burns during cancer treatment David recommends using Simplicité Nutritive Body Lotion twice daily. This includes applying the lotion immediately after each radiation episode to soothe areas of skin under treatment.

Some of the calming ingredients in Nutritive Body Lotion are:

  • Aloe Vera – has healing and restorative properties, calms irritated skin.
  • Carrot – helps repair skin tissue and protects from radiation skin damage.
  • Clary Sage – calms redness, soothes and moisturises.

Full ingredient list (green = nutritive, active herbal elements):

Purified Water, Capric/Caprylic Triglyceride (moisturising, from sustainable coconut), Apricot Kernel extract (Australia), Sweet Almond ext (Australia), Cocoa Butter (Venezuela), Glyceryl Monostearate (from plant source), freshly extracted organic Aloe Barbadensis juice from Qld (not the usual lifeless powder from China), Avocado ext (Australia), Jojoba ext (Argentina), Sesame ext (Burkina Faso), Lemon ext (Australia), Rosewood/Ho Wood ext (Vietnam), Evening Primrose ext (USA), Carrot ext (Australia), Sage ext (Spain), Hyssop ext (Bulgaria), Clary Sage ext (France), natural vitamin E, Gluconolactone (found naturally in fruit) 

Testimonials and product recommendations 

Prevent skin damage from radiation treatment
Gae Grant during radiation treatment - "I still had my radiation tape on my chest. I had no eyebrows or lashes, just drawn in brows."

Gae Grant underwent radiation therapy every day over a five week period.

Gae says she is grateful that she used Nutritive Body Lotion throughout her treatment instead of the aqueous sorbolene that was recommended.

“I was having radiation for five weeks and the doctors recommended I use an aqueous sorbolene. But instead I've been using Simplicité Nutritive Body Lotion.

My skin hasn't blistered, and the doctors have commended me on how well my skin has been holding up every day.

When my skin was at its most red, as soon as I'd put the lotion on it would take the sting out of it. A lot of people would have experienced blistering.

I've only finished my treatment a week ago, and my skin is already healing. It's not getting worse and actually getting better, and that's purely because of the Body Lotion I've been using twice a day.

I feel very pleased that I was recommended the product and very pleased that I've used it and I'll continue to use it.”
Watch Gae's video about preventing radiation burn

Another testimonial for the effectiveness of Nutritive Body Lotion in preventing skin damage during radiation therapy:

Debbie S used Nutritive Body Lotion twice daily throughout her radiation therapy.

“I love your skin care products. I have just finished 30 radiation treatments for breast cancer and the skin lotion, as recommended by David, was an absolute lifesaver!

My skin looks 100% better than other patients, and medical staff  were very impressed!  Thank you for your wonderful products and advice!"

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