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Radiation burns

Posts: 7
Joined: Jan 2010

My friend has found out her chemo and radiation schedule (radiation for 6 weeks starting end of March -IMR - and chemo on weeks 1, 4 & 8). What she is most concerned about is the combination of the radiation burns and the potential diarrhea from the chemo. Does anyone have any tips regarding some topical treatments for the burns to help her heal? I know that essential oil of lavender is great for topical burns (I use it on myself) but would it work for something like this?

Thanks for any input.

mp327's picture
Posts: 4169
Joined: Jan 2010

I underwent 6 weeks of radiation and chemo and had severe burns. My rad onc prescribed silva sulfadiazene cream once the Aquaphor no longer helped. The prescription cream helped as long as I could keep it on. However, I had severe diarrhea most of the time and it was hard to keep the cream on for any length of time. Straight aloe may give some relief, as well as the liquid inside of Vitamin E capsules (just break them open to extract the liquid). Some people have recommended Domeboro. Warm baths in plain water were very soothing to me and many people suggest using epsom salts in the water too. She may want to ask her doctor for a script for Lidocaine cream to apply to her anal area prior to bowel movements, as this will numb the area and make things much less painful.

One very important thing to remember is that she must remove ALL traces of any creams, lotions or gels on the area prior to getting her radiation treatments, as any left on the skin may cause the burning to be worse. I always removed the cream about 2 hours prior to treatment.

I wish her the very best and hope her side effects are minimal.

Posts: 489
Joined: Dec 2009

UGGGHHH!!!! Hated those burns. I had such a horrible time finding anything that gave me relief. Luckily though, I did not experience diarrhea from the chemo. I used the Aquaphor AFTER treatment and it really helped all the burns between my legs. During treatment, I used one thing after another that they gave me, and can't say anything seemed to do a better job then something else. I do know that there is something that actually numbs the pain. You might ask about that. I wish her well. And again, you can't have any creams applied when you go for radiation.
Wish I could be of more help.

JDuke's picture
Posts: 443
Joined: Nov 2009

I find some weird sense of pride in knowing that I was resilient enough to get through it, and your friend will get to the other side of this as well. The good news is that the healing is typically very swift once the treatment ends. The information you have already gotten is good advice. The only things I might add from my experience is that I found a water bottle with a sport type lid was INVALUABLE for squirting water on myself as I urinated. It made it much more tolerable. I recommend that she drink, drink, drink. The more she can dilute the toxins from the chemo and flush them from her system the better. It will help reduce the harshness of the chemicals on her kidneys and bladder. Also it will help prevent dehydration. I really suffered with this and all she can do to avoid it is REALLY important. Liquids with electrolytes are important if the diarrhea is severe (I learned this the hard way). I had LOT of discomfort from itching and taking regular Benadryl really made a difference. If I even THOUGHT I felt the itch coming on, I took it. The drowsiness side effect was just a plus in my opinion. I would recommend checking with her Dr. before taking it though.

Hope this is of some help. Wishing your friend the best. Glad she has your support.


Posts: 1
Joined: Dec 2012

forgive me for butting from the u.k.my wive suffered severe rad burn around the crotch an anal area, a very sorry sight,but the way we managed the burns,was t clean the burn sights with plain sterilised water applying with small cotton wool pads (round in shape) im sure you girls know them,
then apply a gell called intrasite prescrbed by our G.P..the gel is a clear gel dispensed from a small plastic can and it had a fine pointed nozzel ,the allowed you to apply very accuratly.the gel was cold an soothing and also kept the air away from the burns,the relief was instant on my wives face.
also my wive bathed wiith aqueous cream.hope this is of use to you, ps the burns will heal,un till then its a case of gritting teeth ,hope all will be well soon.

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