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How long to heal

skipper54's picture
Posts: 936
Joined: Feb 2011

I know everyone is different - I've included that in several of my answers to questions too - but can anyone chime in on about how long it takes to heal burns from radiation? I've got a pretty nasty burn on my side under my arm - opened blisters, peeling skin etc, and really sore. I've been using the cream the docs gave me and wearing men's cotton t-shirts but this still hurts - actually more pain than from surgery. Any input would be welcome and an idea of how long it took anyone else to heal would help.


mjjones453's picture
Posts: 151
Joined: May 2010

Hi Skipper, I had two burns one under my breast, and one under my armpit. For me the burns healed within a weekof the last boost. I was surprised at how quick they did heal. Of coarse everyone is different in their healing process. I did sit with my bra off, and a fan on the soars, which hurt terrible, but it helped. I wish you quick healing, Mary

Posts: 3600
Joined: Aug 2009

I burned very bad after rads - the entire radiation area was opened up - some deeper than others. Definatly have "good" scars from it. Some even went up the side of my neck (didn't realize that it had been targeted but it was); the worst deepest thankfully were side of chest, under arm and around to back where there is nerve damage from surgery so never felt the pain from them - the other areas were bad enough - Vicodan and Oxycodone were my friends and I don't like to take any pain pills. The worst of the burns took 6 weeks for the last scabs to come off. I'm allergic to Sulfa drugs so Silvadene/Sulfadene were not an option for me but what finally dried them up was Domeboro soaks (Dr's directions). My PA was about to send me to a burn unit when the Soaks started working.

Definately white T-shirts - I had to change every 2 hrs or less.

Dr still has no idea why I burned as bad as I did - had only tanned during rads until next to the last and it was just a slight pink but by the morning after the last rad I was definately burned and it kept 'cooking' for quite a while.

It will take some time - but it WILL heal.


ennie__1's picture
Posts: 32
Joined: Mar 2011

if this is much help my rad burns never got much worse then a bad sun burn but my doctor gave me a gel called Natural Care Gel. Its a greaseless topical preparation for skin irritations. It worked pretty well for me, about one week and I noticed a differance in my burn. Hope you heal soon burns are never any fun to deal with.

mollyz's picture
Posts: 745
Joined: Sep 2010

I'll be doing #24 tomorrow and under my arm is really getting dark and i hope my skin can hold up for the next 10 I think the last 5 will be boosters I use the aquaphor right after rads and i come home and take off everything and when i do go out i wear the t-shirt and the bra over it so far so good.I just realized my back was getting it also. I wish you good skin and me too keep us posted. MOLLYZ

Posts: 332
Joined: Sep 2010

The RN at onoc's office told me to use Preparation H on the burns. I was burned blood red on my breast and underarm. So I used that and Aloe Vera Gel. Check with your doctor about this. Don't want to tell you something that could hurt you. Like I said the RN suggested this and it worked for me.

Good luck.. My prayers are with you... Diana

Posts: 6162
Joined: Oct 2010

so sorry you have to deal with this...I was very fortunate I DID NOT burn, chap etc at all. I ended up with large box size tan chest...and I DINT" notice that until the end. I did use daily cream I was given at cancer center..sample bottles..I am not sure of the name of it.

I wish I had some suggestions...but DO NOT...

I just wanted you to know I am thinking of you and hope it gets beter soon

Posts: 222
Joined: Jun 2010

I too burned very bad during rads. I had 33 treatments. I used just about everything on the market. The last week on rad was very bad but I stuck it out. What did help me tremendously was the Silvadene and the Domeboro soaks. I finished on November 16, 2010 and still have the battle scars, very visible on the side of my neck. I’m using vitamin E and aloe now which is slowly helping to even out my color. Hope your recovery goes faster than what I am experiencing.

skipper54's picture
Posts: 936
Joined: Feb 2011

Thanks for all the input! Ane the good wishes! I just had 31 of 33 treatments today - started burning around 24 so have been fairly lucky. The burns started seeping over the weekend and have been really sore. Dr. this morning told me I can use Neosporin plus pain relief and that has helped. Also turning t-shirts inside out so seams are away from the tender skin. The area that is really burned is about 2 x 8 on my side, under my arm. The last treatment to that area was last Wednesday, now just on the scar site from my mastectomy. Hopefully there will be a treatment someday that doesn't include burns.

Thanks again for all the good wishes. Best to all of you also!

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