Skin Care Tips

http://www.breastcancer.org/treatment/radiation/skin/care

Here are a few things you can do to make the skin less sensitive during radiation treatment and to help it return to normal after radiation treatment is over.

Prevent irritation before and after daily treatments

  • Wear loose-fitting shirts, preferably cotton.
  • Use warm rather than hot water while showering.
  • Try to not let shower water fall directly on your breast.
  • Avoid harsh soaps that have a lot of fragrance; instead use fragrance-free soaps with moisturizers (such as Dove).
  • To help prevent redness and skin irritation, avoid having skin-on-skin contact. This most often happens:
    • where your arm presses against your armpit and the outer portion of your breast
    • along the bottom crease of your breast, where your breast might droop a bit and lie up against your upper belly wall
    • along your cleavage where the breasts snuggle up against each other

    To avoid skin-on-skin contact:

    • Try to keep your arm away from your body whenever possible.
    • Wear a strong bra without an underwire to keep your breasts separated and lifted.
    • If you have large breasts, when you’re not wearing a bra, stick a soft washcloth or piece of flannel or soft cotton under your breast.
  • Regularly dust the breast area and inside skin folds with cornstarch to absorb moisture, reduce friction, and keep you smelling fresh. You can use baby powder made from cornstarch (don’t use talc) or sifted kitchen cornstarch. Apply it with a clean makeup brush or put some cornstarch into a single knee-high nylon or thin sock and knot it at the top. Gently tap the sock against the skin to dust the surface. If your doctor has recommended using creams or salves, apply those first, then dust the area with the cornstarch.
  • With or without radiation, yeast infections are common in the skin fold under each breast — particularly during warm weather i…

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