Around 85% of people who undergo radiation treatments for cancer develop radiation burns which can be painful and last for years after therapy is complete. At Advanced Wound Care in Southaven and Senatobia, Mississippi, and West Memphis, Arkansas, Jennifer McKee, FNP-BC, and the rest of the team can ease the symptoms of your radiation burn. To find out more about radiation burns and how to treat them, call Advanced Wound Care or book an appointment online today.
Radiation burns are painful skin reactions that come from radioactive X-ray beams. Radiation can damage your skin, your tissues, even your DNA. This typically doesn’t happen after just one X-ray imaging procedure since the dosage of radiation is so small, but repeated X-ray beams from radiation treatment for cancer can put you at risk of getting a radiation burn.
If you get frequent radiation treatments, your skin doesn’t have enough time between them to heal itself. If your radiation burns become severe enough, your physician could recommend that you stop treatment until your skin heals.
The team at Advanced Wound Care can reduce or eliminate your radiation burns using many treatment approaches. They evaluate the extent of your burns to decide the best way to treat you. Then they develop a personalized radiation burn treatment plan so you can get back to your cancer treatments promptly.
Radiation burns start with redness, then move on to peeling and swelling, and end with skin cell death. Throughout these four stages, many symptoms occur. The severity of your symptoms depends largely on your dosage of radiation and the size of the treatment area. Your burn might be:
In severe cases, radiation burns can develop painful sores or ulcers. Ulcers are difficult to treat and slower to heal than regular radiation burns. If you develop ulcers, the team at Advanced Wound Care takes a more aggressive approach to your radiation burn treatment.
There are several ways to treat radiation burns. The team at Advanced Wound Care will take one of these approaches during your treatment:
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy treats radiation ulcers by delivering pressurized oxygen to them. This can help fight infection and promote the development of new capillaries for better blood flow to the area.
The team at Advanced Wound Care might prescribe a corticosteroid cream to help heal your skin after a radiation burn.
Silver leaf nylon dressing is effective in treating radiation burns because it is antimicrobial. Ions from the silver leaf penetrate your skin, relieving the uncomfortable symptoms to promote healing.
Amifostine (Ethyol®) is a medication that works against free radicals from radiation. It comes in the form of an injection that the team at Advanced Wound Care can prescribe.
For more information about radiation burns and available treatments, call Advanced Wound Care for an appointment or book online today.