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More rad burn information, please?

mtmom
Posts: 27
Joined: Nov 2013

Good day!

New here...diagnosed in March with IDC and just finished radiation treatment on Oct.30, 2013. Just found this group and wanted to ask you warriors about rad burns. I have burns on my neck, a couple spots on my back, and my armpit is hamburger! I guess I'm just looking for some ideas to get through the pain and mess. I also have Type 1 Diabetes (I'm 44 and have had it for 30yrs.) so I'm sure that doesn't help. Questions: a) keep the area dry, b) keep the area moist, c) how long before you saw improvement, d) best/worst products.

Thanks to all of you who have gone before and are able to share some warfare wisdom. It helps tremendously!

Blessings,

~Mtmom

Rague
Posts: 3303
Joined: Aug 2009

Domebro soaks are what fimally healed my rad burns.  The entire radiated area burned very bad - have the scars to prove it!

The morning after last rad the entire radiated area was blistered (only slight pink the night before) - only kept getting worse.  That was early March 2010 and the last scab came off June 29, 2010.  I had oxy for the pain - thankfully the deepest burns were under arm where there was nerve damage from surgery, so did not feel the pain there.  Tried many things the Dr came up when one of the RN's had found info that Domeboro soaks might help.  It worked great.  The next to last area to heal was up the side of my neck and the last under arm.

I could not get bandages to stay on so I wore white t-shirts to act as bandages.  Changed  about every 2 hrs.  Thankfuly I never developed any infections.

.

 

 

Rague
Posts: 3303
Joined: Aug 2009

Tablet is being 'tupid.

I am not diabetic so don't ha e any ideas other than to say keep in touch with all your Drs - not just Rads.

Winyan - The Power Within

Susan

mtmom
Posts: 27
Joined: Nov 2013

Thanks, Susan! I had looked up Domeboro powder and it said it was an astringent...sounded ouchy! So it is good to hear from someone that had bad burns and that it worked so well. I will try to get some tomorrow. Did it seem to help with any weepy areas to dry them up?

Blessings,

~Marge

Rague
Posts: 3303
Joined: Aug 2009

Domeboro does not "ouch" at all (at least for me anyway).  It's a powder you mix with water (sort of like epsom salts).  I have, since using it on myself, used it for soaks with horses with lower leg/hoof abcesses with them showing no signs of discomfort with it as a soak.

YES - it is what dried/healed my burns starting almost as soon as I was started to use it.  If you try to find it, you will need to go the prescription part of the pharmacy to ask for it as while it does not need a 'script, here it is kept behind the counter at all the pharmacies here.   You might want to  check prices at different places (I  called to check) as locally Walgrens was about 4 times more than it is at the pharmacy in the grocery store.

Winyan - The Power Within

 Susan

 

 

 

 

tasha_111's picture
tasha_111
Posts: 2042
Joined: Oct 2008

I used aloe vera, I was not pink but BLACK with huge cracks that stung like all hell... Had to do my 'Teapot impression' every time I was anywhere, it hurt a lot....Good luck hun Tash xxxxx

 

mtmom
Posts: 27
Joined: Nov 2013

Thank you for the smile...I've been singing "I'm a little teapot" all evening! And yes, that is what I feel like, too! ~Marge

desertgirl947's picture
desertgirl947
Posts: 419
Joined: Oct 2012

I had a bit of a problem with burns as I got to the end of rads.  Mine was generally just under my arm and a bit across my chest.  My med people had me apply silvadeen to the areas and lightly cover the areas with gauze and leave it there for about 4 or so hours, if I remember correctly.  (This was last year.)  Then I would take the gauze off and clean the area, using gauze, with a highly diluted bit of hydrogen peroxide.  I forget what the ratio was on that.  I would then just let that area "dry" for about 4 hours or so.  Then I would repeat the cleaning process, do the silvadeen thing, etc.  The process did clear the problem quickly for me -- I can't say I was hamburger to begin with; but I do know I was quite sore -- even riding in the car on a somewhat rough road was painful at the time.

I can't say what worked for me would work for you because (1) it seems your burns are more extensive than mine were; and (2) you have the added challenge of being diabetic.

Hope you find solutions to your burns.

fauxma's picture
fauxma
Posts: 3532
Joined: Dec 2008

MtMom

There are many good ideas here and sometimes it is a case of trying different ones until you find what works for you.  I would say that because you are a diabetic and the whole healing issues that can go hand in hand with that, that you should also contact the wound care specialist that are associated with your medical group or doctor.  Wound care specialist often handle diabetic wounds but I would think they might be able to help you and to keep you from getting any infections or having problems with long term healing of these burns.  Healing from rads can take time but with the diabetes you want to ensure that you are being treated and watched for complications that might arise.  Just another suggestion for you.  Hoping the healing goes well and quickly. 

Stef

mtmom
Posts: 27
Joined: Nov 2013

Thank you! I hadn't thought of a wound care specialist...or even getting in touch with my diabetes doctor. I've been so focused on the cancer stuff that I forgot about him!  I just was assuming my rad doc and oncologist had all the answers. Thank you for the reminder to include all of them.

Blessings,

~Marge

fauxma's picture
fauxma
Posts: 3532
Joined: Dec 2008

I have been a type 2 diabetic for 17 years and my husband is one as well.  He had to consult wound care a while back for a leg ulcer that would not heal.  I was fortunate that I only got tan skin, no burns, during rads for breast cancer.  But when I had pelvic rads for uterine cancer I had an area of concern.  My rads oncologist had me consult a wound care specialist and she made suggestions and keep a eye on the area until it healed.  The fact we have such a good team when dealing with cancer and that the whole diagnosis is overwhelming can make us forget that we have other doctors that are there for us as well.  It is a good idea to let your diabetes doctor know what is going on.  Since you take insulin (maybe you are on a pump) there might be things with your treatment that can affect your doseage and blood sugars.  I use insulin and if I have infections I have changes in my blood sugar levels.  So letting that doctor know what is going on is probable a good idea. Again, hoping for good healing.

Stef

hbwoman1
Posts: 4
Joined: Oct 2013

Oh my, now I am really worried.  I just had my second radiation treatment for breast cancer.  I am so scared after reading all the posts that this is going to be very painful as time goes on.  I have 33 more treatments to go.  I am going 5 days a week for 7 weeks.  I am told to use aquaphor, aloe and to try calendula oil.  Has anyone had this many treatments without all the burning and blisters?  Now I feel like not having more treatments.

mtmom
Posts: 27
Joined: Nov 2013

I started using the Domeboro powder and I am seeing good results already. Some pink skin peeking through! I had the same regimen for my rad treatments. I honestly thought I was going to get through without any burning. It actually got worse after treatment was done. But, I don't think it's a guarantee that you will have burns and blisters. I've met ladies on both ends of the spectrum. Just do your best to stay hydrated, use the Aquaphor and aloe...keep up with your skin. For me, even with the burns, radiation was easier than chemo. And, it is a season to work through...if you are like me, this is the last step for now and so there is light at the end of the tunnel!

Blessings,

~Mtmom

Rague
Posts: 3303
Joined: Aug 2009

I am so glad to hear that Domeboro is working for you!  It is what finally healed my burn -  took quite a while but it did finally.

Winyan - The Power Within

Susan

Rague
Posts: 3303
Joined: Aug 2009

I did BURN badly but those of us who do are the exception rather than the 'rule'!  If I had known going in what I would experience I'd have done it without a second thought as I was/am IBC (Inflammatory Breast Cancer).  Was it 'fun' doing/living through - NO but I LIVED through it and it is now just a fading memory  - I'm still 'here' and NED (No Evidence of Disease) over 3 1/2 yrs later.  The only thing I wish had haend differently was that Domeboro soaks had been suggested MUCH earlier.

I am Very light skinned so Dr had them checking me very carefully before each of my 25 rads (what was what was sch

eduled for me) - no problems at all.  Day 24, I was slightly pink, Day 25, a very slight sunburn.  What would have been Day 26, entire area burned/blistered/open.  (I had been very careful with doing al I could to take care of skin.)  I really hate to mention what I went through as some will assume/think it will happen to them - VERY unlikely it will - but we come out stronger if we choose to!

 

 

To ME (and possibly me only) - LIFE is to be lived - the GOOD and the BAD.  We learn and grow from both.

 

 

Ask/Educate yourself - do not assume that every experience anyone has had, you will also experience.

 

Winyan - The Power Within

 

Susan

Vermont Lady's picture
Vermont Lady
Posts: 4
Joined: Nov 2013

 I finished 33 rad treatments in August of this year.  I used Aquaphor everyday after EVERY treatment.  I would just cover my breast (as greasy as it is) and then cover up with a sport bra.  I thought I had almost made it through untouched, until my last week of treatment.  That's when I noticed the burning starting to take place.  I continued to use the Aquaphor for almost a month after treatment was done.  My skin did peel (much like a sunburn) but the Aquaphor and a soft sport bra made it bearable. I think the most important thing for me was to not let the shower water hit directly on my breast.  I tried to shield the pressure of the water as much as possible.  I didn't experience any pain, just a mild discomfort similar to a sunburn.  And after my skin was healed the BEST was Johnson & Johnsons lavendar cornstarch!  Was a soft treat for my new skin!!  Good Luck. I hope this helps!

 

Deb

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