Radiation Burn, also called Radiation Dermatitis, is a common side effect of radiation therapy. It is condition in which the skin of the treated area becomes red and irritated and it occurs to some degree in most patients who undergo radiation therapy. Radiation kills not only cancer cells, but also some of the healthy cells. This causes the skin to peel. Damage to the skin can occur within 1 to 2 weeks of treatment and usually resolves itself over time once the treatment period is complete.
Symptoms of radiation dermatitis include hair loss, dry or wet peeling skin (desquamation), decreased sweating, edema, ulcerations, bleeding, and skin cell death. The extent of the symptoms depends on the total radiation dose, the size of the area treated, cellular fractionation, and the type of radiation used. In severe radiation burn cases, the cancer treatment must be discontinued until the skin heals. However, discontinuing therapy can compromise treatment.
Content Produced by Oncology Nursing News in coordination with Lindi Skin.
NOTE: We strongly encourage you to talk with your health care professional about your specific medical condition and treatments. The information provided in this Web site about skin reactions and other medical conditions is meant to be helpful and educational, but is not a substitute for professional medical advice.