Skin problems

Sonja.K Member Posts: 79 Member
edited April 7 in Head and Neck Cancer #1

Hi, I had radiation treatment on one side for a tumor in my jaw in 2014. I have recently been experiencing burning and discoloration on the radiation side only. My neck actually feels like when I was going thru radiation and appears burned. My skin is losing pigment on that side and getting freckly. The other side of my neck is normal. I have tried Aquaphor, Eucerin and Vaseline. Has anyone else experienced this? Thanks.



  • wbcgaruss
    wbcgaruss Member Posts: 1,774 Member

    Hello, Sonja, I hope other than this you are doing well.

    I have not had this late effect nor do I remember it being covered here. But I have done a little research and found some info for you which I am putting below. I would recommend just being safe and getting it checked by your care team. It seems radiation is a cancer killer but can have its own issues even years later.

    Skin Changes

    Radiation can lead to permanent changes in the skin.

    • You may develop new scars or notice changes in the color or texture of your skin. Radiation can also change the color and texture of your hair or can cause permanent hair loss in the treated area.
    • The soft tissue and muscles under the skin can develop scarring and/or shrinkage, which can lead to a loss of flexibility and movement or chronic swelling in this area.
    • You may develop chronic or recurring ulcers of the skin in the area treated. Blood vessels of the skin may become dilated and more visible, although this is not harmful.
    • If the skin feels tight or sore, you can apply vitamin E to the skin.
    • Use fragrance and dye-free soaps and moisturizers in the area if your skin is sensitive after radiation.

    After radiation, the skin in the treated area is more sensitive to sunlight. This sensitivity will last for your lifetime. Practice sun safety, use plenty of sunscreen, wear a wide-brimmed hat, and keep skin in the treated area covered with clothing. Try to avoid being out in the sun between the hours of 10 am-4 pm when it is the strongest.

    If you notice any new or worsening skin issues anywhere on your body, you should contact your provider for an assessment.

    This info came from Oncolink and it covers late effects of radiation treatment. Here is a link to the page to see all the effects possibilities--

    Survivorship: Late Effects After Radiation for Head and Neck Cancer

    Wishing You the Best

    Take care, God Bless-Russ

  • SuzJ
    SuzJ Member Posts: 418 Member

    I use aloe vera gel, can buy on amazon, keeps the skin supple, not tight, and so far - all same color. I do clean it once a month or so, the same surgical cleaner I had after rads, it takes some 'dirt' off and my skin looks brighter? (It is so NOT dirt!)