Radiation dermatitis (RD) refers to a spectrum of skin reactions that may occur as a result of radiation therapy. Around 85 percent of cancer patients who undergo radiation therapy experience moderate to severe skin reactions. These reactions can be a frustrating and discouraging side effect for cancer patients. Fortunately, advances in medical technology and keratin bioscience have paved the way to manage RD. If you are a medical provider or a patient undergoing radiation therapy, keep reading to learn more.

Symptoms

Radiation dermatitis is a result of radiation burn and is classified as a skin toxicity by dermatologists. Skin reactions to radiation therapy can range from mild symptoms, such as erythema (redness), to moderate symptoms, such as dry desquamation (dry, flaky skin), and even to severe symptoms, like moist desquamation (oozing skin). Symptoms can also progress from mild to severe over time, especially as a patient continues to undergo radiation treatment.

Symptoms of radiation dermatitis may include, but are not limited to:

  • Redness
  • Soreness
  • Pigmentation changes
  • Itching
  • Flaking
  • Peeling
  • Blistering
  • Ulceration
  • Necrosis

 

radiation therapy treatments can cause radiation dermatitis

Causes

Radiation dermatitis is a skin toxicity caused when the skin is repeatedly exposed to radiation. In the course of radiation therapy, X-ray beams pass through the skin and can cause tissue damage to the skin structure. Depending on the frequency of radiation treatments, the skin may not have enough time to heal between doses. As a result of this unhealed damage, the skin begins to show symptoms.

Prevention and Treatment of Radiation Dermatitis

In the past, cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy have been told that there is no consensus treatment option for preventing or managing radiation dermatitis. Thanks to advances in medical technology and keratin bioscience, new treatments for radiation dermatitis are possible. KeraStat® Cream is now available to help manage radiation dermatitis and its symptoms. KeraStat® Cream supports the management of dry, light, and moderately exuding partial thickness wounds.  Patients who apply KeraStat® Cream after the first radiation therapy session should see a noticeably shortened period of erythema (redness). Best of all, KeraStat® Cream is easy to apply. KeraStat® Cream is available by prescription only.

If you are a patient undergoing radiation therapy or who is experiencing radiation dermatitis, consult with your doctor to see if KeraStat® Cream is a good option for you. KeraNetics™ is able to provide resources and educational materials for doctors and other medical professionals.

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