Radiotherapy (skin protection)

I came across an anecdotal post (medical help) mentioning a gel available that helps protect the skin during radiotherapy treatment to the head and neck. It is from the Bristol Cancer Centre and is called Radiance Skin Gel. It said that it was also used inside the mouth, and her mother didn’t get a single blister over the 6 weeks. The gel also helped when she could no longer open her mouth to even clean her teeth and couldn’t tolerate water, providing just a little relief around her gums and tongue which were so dry.

Any one tried this or found something else helpful?
Original Post
After reading this post we bought some Radiance Skin Gel from the Bristol Cancer Centre. We've just began to use it on Robert's neck as it's just started to blister after 22 sessions of radiotherapy and the aqueous cream didn't seem to be helping much. It's worked wonders and healed it after only 2 days so we'd definitely recommend it.

Thanks for the tip Dr Joshi.
Lorraine,

Glad to hear that from you, we haven't heard from you or Robert for a while, but those of us who have had the Radiotherapy would expect him not to be very comunicative at the moment. Hope things are going well, and let us know if y6ou have any concerns, as somebody on the site may have already faced the challenges you will both be going through, and may be able to help.
Re the aqueous cream given out, I never used it, I used some french cream that was used during the last war for burns, it is now in use for sunburns.
Although the whole of my neck down to the breast bone, looked very scalded and did break up, I have not scars today.

I did plaster large quantities over the neck area. Hope things are going on well with the healing, it does all take time, and everyones rate of healing is very different.
The scar down the front of my neck is huge, raised and angry. My surgeon has referred me to a plastic surgeon. But he says to wait til a year post op. I produce too much collagen and he's not sure he can make it better.
Ihave never had a rash and I didn't have too much trouble after radio. I use BIO oil which you can get from the chemist. It is quite expensive but you only need a tiny amount and it lasts for ever. I used it as soon as i finished my treatment and it really does help.
I used to coach swimming and I was in the water every day for several hours and my neck used to get really itchy and dry. This oil wasn't available then and I had real problems. Now I have a super smooth moisterised skin. It also helps with the difference with skin colouring and texture after radiotherapy.
I didn't like the aqueous stuff at all so I didn't use it much during treatment- i preferred wheatgerm oil which is totally natural.
Hope this helps- Merry Christmas Paul

Anne W
I used Radiance skin gel a week before i started R.T. and all throughout. I didn't start to burn until about week 4 (i had 6 weeks). My neck then became quite dry and flakey - no blisters. The worst of if right behind my ears! I still continued to use it though and within a week new skin began to come through! I still use it now occasionaly as its very cooling. It contains:Aloe, Lavender, Jasmine and Royal jel,y to name a few.
Definately worked for me!
Hi, I washed my hair with baby shampoo and used simple moisturiser during the day- before i went to R/T and when I got back and for the rest of the day I used bio -oil. I got very red but didn't have any blistering ( except behind ears where I forgot to put it!)
Beware spray antiperspirant! Some can blow up onto your head and neck and this reacts with the R/t. Keep away from any products that have metals in them- they WILL react with R/t
Keep smiling
Anne
Vaseline probably isn't a good idea. I wouldn't put vaseline on burnt skin. Plus vaseline is just a barrier. It doesn't penetrate and put goodness back into the skin. Pure Aloe Vera gel is good and soothing. & as i've mentioned before, the Radiance skin Gel was excellent!
quote:
my neck looks like on big rash


Mine also looks as if it has a rash Paul, until that is I apply make up carefully to soften it. I realise as a woman how fortunate I am not to mind wearing make up, which as a man you might dislike. Have you considered a Red Cross lesson on camouflage disguise. It stops that initial stare from passers by.
My advice would be to start using it now as it will prepare the skin. Also, make sure you find out where the radiotherapy exit beam will be. Its REALLY important this area isn't forgotten as i wasn't aware of there would be an exit beam. So the area behind my ears and the back of my neck suffered more than the rest of my skin as it didn't get any gel until it had already started going red! I applied it in the car on my way to treatment. & in the car on the way home. & before i went to bed. It helped me such alot.
It's cooling and soothing and nourishing.

As for using it in the mouth ityself. Use sparingly on the sores. Not tons of it!

Keep us updated with your husbands treatment if you can!

Michelle
Michelle

thank you for the advice. I have made the mistake of asking the radiotherapists what they think and they are being very cautious and want to ask the consultant. I think that we will go ahead and use it in conjunction with the aqueous cream and hope for the best.

Katherine
quote:
Hi,
I hope you are doing better. I was using a cream called ScarZone for the scar from my neck dissection, and it really helped it, I then used it on the radiation burns on my neck and it really cleared it up a great deal, it was quite raw and blistery and in a matter of a few days it cleared up. It is an over the counter product.
Good Luck with all!
Best Regards,
Pamela


Link: Scar Zone website
Just to add to the good suggestions already noted -- some things we found helpful for Stephen’s neck and face during radiation for aggressive tongue cancer:
~Putting straight vitamin E oil on areas of skin that have become very irritated (AFTER daily radiation though, not before, so no residue is on skin) – this can help when anything else makes it sting, and the skin heals up quickly. (A bit gooey and can stain shirt collars, though -- I squeezed the oil out of capsules until I found some bottled oil through drugstore.com.)
~Mixing vitamin E oil with Special Care Cream (made by Bard, provided by our doctor's office)-- about 1 part oil to two parts cream, so it absorbs quickly into the skin -- healed all skin that was slightly irritated in a matter of days, even as radiation continued, but we made sure to not apply within a couple hours before radiation treatment (our doctor said cream or lotion residue on the skin can distract the beams from having full effect on the targeted area).
~Putting Clarins Extra-Comfort Cleansing Cream all over his neck and lower part of his face at the beginning of a shower helped keep moisture in and soothe the irritated skin during the shower. (This gentle cleansing cream can just be gently wiped off – doesn’t need to be rinsed.) It’s expensive cream, but amazingly non-irritating and very moisturizing, so it is a great help.
--Susan
Thanks so much for the heads-up on this product. I contacted them to see if they ship internationally, which they do, accepting all credit cards but American Express. I ordered it only minutes ago and hope it comes in time to make a difference; in the meantime, I have aloe vera gel and Aquaphor.

Thanks Dr. Joshi and everyone else.
Hi Mimi

How is going, hope you are well and not suffering to much from the R/T.?
Just one thing about creams during R/T treatment you need to be careful with certain creams in that they can effect the way the R/T is working.
Things with sun block or zinc based should be avoided, always check with your team who are treating you before using.

Take care

Regards


Tony
Mimi, don't forget about my experience..... Nurse gave me a prescription cream... i guess i didn't follow instructions or something....

after using it and then having a treatment it felt like i had been cooked.... next treatment told the tech they sure cooked my neck yesterday.... she looked at my neck and asked me what i had on there.... told her and she said no we can't start the treatment before we get that stuff off.... used alcohol to wash my neck.... that stuff was like grease in a frying pan.... so after that my neck went naked.... and my problems were only minor....
Jilly,

The cream is the Radiance Gel that Dr. Joshi refers to in the original post on this thread. After reading what he and what subsequent posters had to say, I thought it sounded like the best cream/gel/whatever to use. I've ordered it but it hasn't arrived yet. In the meantime, I've been applying aloe vera gel although my skin hasn't changed color. I'm too new to this to know how my skin will change, so I guess I'm just preparing for what might come.

Trev in Australia advises Sorbelene, something that is not sold here; others have different applications that they swear by. I suppose we'll have to see what works for us individually. I'll certainly let you know how this gel works for me. With radiation for breast cancer, I used Aquaphor which worked well; however, I think my skin type may have had something to do with it. I've got half-Irish, half-Croatian skin (a wonderful mix!) that went from red to purple but never itched, peeled, blistered or hurt. Someone on my breast cancer board advised emu oil (another Aussie product but also sold in the US), and it was seconded by a big bunch of people. Who knows?

In the post right before yours, Pete228 has the best advice of all. When your husband goes for treatment make absolutely sure that he doesn't have any residue of creams/gels/etc., on his skin. This will only cook as Pete said, "like grease in a frying pan."

I think in this same thread that Dr. Joshi has advice about caring for scarred skin.

Good luck to you and your husband, Jilly! I cared for my Mom when she had cancer and think sometimes that the caretaker has it as rough as the patient. Remember to breathe. Remember to get away from it every so often. Take care of yourself too.

Mimi
Ouch, I still remember the horrified look on the tech faces after i told them of the burning sensation (physical) from my last treatment as they looked down at the grease like cream on my neck as they were preparing to give me another dose....

tech got out the rubbing alcohol and cleaned my neck up before the treatment got started....
Hi

I also found the ‘Radiance’ gel that has already been referred to in earlier posts worked really well on my skin whilst going through radiotherapy. I did however suffer with a couple of blisters on my neck but found immediate relief by using gel pads that I bought from Boots the Chemists called “Faster Healing Burn Cooling Discs”. Hope this is of help to anyone currently undergoing treatment.

All the best
Wendy
I have just completed 6 weeks radiotherapy on my tongue. Used Radiance Cream on face and neck 2 weeks before and still using it now. Initially applied morning and evening and gradually increased to about 4 times, sometimes more. I have no discolouration, no burning or any other side effect.

I also took various anti inflams, herbs etc and barley grass/wheatgrass and some algae'sand avoided dairy apart from eggs.I have ulcer trails in my mouth which pain killers control pretty well. I have no other side effects . We are all different but want to pass on my good experience hoping it may work for others too. I am not claimimg I have a cure just that it worked for me.
Some RT departments are VERY fussy about what they will let you use. I was told that aqueous was the ONLY thing they recommended, because it had been tested - or something. My argument was that it was going to 'fry' everything - and was no good anyway. After a lot of toing & froing I was told that the only other thing I could use was Pure Aloe Vera. That was beginning to make sense, as Aloe is the 'burns plant'. I used it right the way through 33 treatments and everything held together - and I had normal skin on my neck within two weeks. The girls in the treatment areas always said that people using Aloe survived a lot better than those using aqueous.

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