How can I protect my skin during radiation treatments for cancer?

Lori K. Gillespie, MD
Radiation Oncology
During radiation treatment follow these guidelines:
  • Do not use heating pads, hot water bottles, heat lamps, sun lamps, or ice packs on the treated area of the skin.
  • Do not expose treated skin to the sun.
  • Wear cotton undergarments, if appropriate, for treated areas of skin.
  • Avoid tight-fitting clothing.
  • Avoid the use of tape on the affected area.
  • Do not shave skin in the treatment field unless you use an electric razor.
  • When you wash, use only lukewarm water and mild soaps on the treatment area. Do not rub the treated area.
  • Do not use lotions, creams, powders, or ointments in the treatment area unless prescribed by your radiation oncologist. If prescribed, do not apply within four hours prior to radiation treatment. Skin should be clean and dry for treatment.

  • Do not apply deodorant, cosmetics, cologne or perfumed creams to the treatment area.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.