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Keep your skin safe from the sun after radiation therapy

Created: 07/01/2013 11:28 AM
By: Joan Lucas

Keep your skin safe from the sun after radiation therapy

Now that summer is here – with high temperatures and blue skies – you will likely be tempted to spend more time in the sun. But if you have had radiation therapy for breast cancer, we have a few tips to keep your skin safer this summer. During and shortly after radiation, it's best to keep the treated area completely out of the sun, because the sun can cause damage to treated areas and your skin will be more sensitive. Even a full year or two after radiation therapy, your skin could be more tender than it was before your treatment.

Follow these tips to protect and soothe your sensitive skin.

  • Try to choose a bathing suit that covers any recently treated skin, and wear a cover-up anytime you are not swimming.
  • Speaking of swimming – chlorine can damage your skin, drying it out and making any reaction you have had to radiation therapy worse.
  • Keep a few loose-fitting cotton shirts in your summer wardrobe that can cover the skin without being too clingy.
  • Remember that sun block is a great friend to you this time of year. Apply and reapply every few hours if you spend a lot of time in the sun. Look for products rated SPF 30 or higher.

The Lovelace Women’s Hospital Breast Care Center is New Mexico’s only breast care center accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers for providing the highest level of quality care to its patients. Our team of breast health professionals will help you assess your risk of developing breast cancer, guide you through mammograms and clinical exams and teach you the proper method of breast self-examination. We also offer counseling, education and support programs.


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