Q:

How do you treat radiation burns?

A:

Quick Answer

To treat radiation burns, keep the area clean and dry, apply a bandage for protection, and apply topical antibiotics as directed by a doctor, instructs Spine Solutions. To avoid aggravating skin damage, wear loose clothing, protect the area from the sun, avoid scratching the area, and avoid irritating skin products such as aftershave.

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Full Answer

Although most skin changes and other side effects disappear on their own within the weeks following radiation treatment, some patients experience long-term effects such as scar tissue formation or skin discoloration, according to Mayo Clinic. During treatment, use mild soap and water to clean the affected skin, avoiding aluminum-containing products such as deodorants. If the doctor has prescribed a topical cream to prevent redness and swelling, use it according to package directions. This normally means applying it four hours prior to a treatment session. Gently wash the skin using a soft washcloth, and pat it dry rather than rubbing.

Other options for treating and caring for skin affected by radiation burn include using a mild, fragrance-free moisturizer and avoiding extreme temperatures, as instructed by Mayo Clinic. If an individual experiences major symptoms such as blistering, redness, swelling, severe pain or signs of infection, he should report them to his doctor as soon as possible.

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