Skin changes are common and expected during radiation therapy. Each person reacts to treatment in a different way. The likelihood and severity of a skin reaction depends on:


  • The area being treated

  • The type and dose of radiation given

  • Whether or not you are also getting chemotherapy


It is typical for the treated skin to turn red, blister and hurt. If you develop skin reactions, it will most likely improve 3 to 4 weeks after treatment is finished.  Here are a few ‘dos and don’ts’ when approaching skin care during radiation:


  • Keep the skin lubricated and moisturized to prevent itching and cracking.

  • Bathe or shower daily using warm water and a mild, unscented soap.

  • Do not use a washcloth or scrubbing cloth or brush. Pat yourself dry with a towel.

  • The tattoo marks you received before treatment are permanent. You may get other markings during treatment (with a purple felt-tipped marker) that can be removed with mineral oil.

  • Avoid heating pads, ice packs or bandages on the area receiving radiation.

  • Wear loose-fitting, cotton clothing over the treated area.

  • Do not shave the treated skin. Use an electric razor if your doctor says you can shave.

  • Use non-adhesive dressings and avoid putting any tape on treated skin.

  • Choose bed sheets made of soft cotton.

  • Avoid using skin care products before radiation therapy. Do not wash off your moisturizer before treatment as your skin could become irritated.

  • Wear sun-protective clothing and avoid exposing the treated area to the sun while being treated.

  • Use a cool arnica or chamomile soaked compress or recommend emollient creams or gels to protect radiated areas.

  • Keep clear of radiated areas during self and professional massage. 

  • Use a mineral instead of oil based sunblock in the area being radiated if it will be exposed to the sun.


Note: there are some very important safety precautions that need to be considered when treating someone living with cancer. Please talk with your esthetician about your unique needs so he or she can design a treatment protocol that is safe and effective.


“I've been seeing Wendei for years and my skin never looked so amazing!”

-Abigail Smith


  • Facebook Classic
Spa for Cancer

12215 Ventura Blvd. Ste. 110, Studio City, CA. 91604

Phone  (818) 769-0302