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radiation aloe or aquaphor

Hi. Wondering which is better to reduce chances of getting radiation burns, aloe gel or Aquaphor? Any experience would be greatly appreciated! Also has anyone used both, like aloe in the morning and Aquaphor at night?


  • kotchaj
    kotchaj Member Posts: 209

    Hi thec,

    Your radiation oncologist will prescribe something for you to help with radiation. I used Aquaphor, but honestly waited until I was finished with the actual radiation before adding it. You will continue to burn after for a little while, I think I did for another week and the cream given by the oncologist was very helpful. I turned red and had a tiny bit of weeping, but it cleared up after a week. I'm very pale and was surprised that was all that I experienced. I'm sure you will hear from others and their experiences on here soon.

  • exbrnxgrl
    exbrnxgrl Member Posts: 4,737

    My ro did not prescribe anything but recommended both aloe and aquaphor. I used the aloe immediately after each treatment and kept the area coated in aquaphor otherwise. I only had rads x15 and it was to the femur not the chest. There are many different products you can use and everyone, including radiologists, seems to have a favorite. Go with your radiologist’s recommendation but you can try other products as well.

  • thec
    thec Member Posts: 12

    thank you both

  • ruthbru
    ruthbru Member Posts: 46,911

    I used aquaphor. I brought a tube with me and applied it in the dressing room after each session. Don't apply it before hand, though, because that could accentuate burning. I just got red (like getting a sunburn from the inside out), but no blistering etc. I kept applying it for a couple weeks after I was done too.

  • norcals
    norcals Member Posts: 206


    I took a tube of calendula cream with me and applied it right after each radiation session. It is over the counter cream that was recommended by the radiation oncologist office. By the end of radiation therapy, my skin was a little dry and flaky, but no burns even after weeks of radiation.

  • norcals
    norcals Member Posts: 206

    A patient I met in the waiting room for radiation therapy also recommended using a spray-on aloe if your skin is too sensitive to rub any cream or lotion on. She said it helped with some of the pain near the end of radiation therapy when your skin tends to hurt the most. Fortunately, I didn’t need it, but I thought that was a good idea.

  • pinkrules
    pinkrules Member Posts: 96

    Hi thec. I started using Aquaphor (my radiologist recommended it) the night before my first radiation session. I apply it four times a day, also directly after a session but not before. Doing great so far. She also said that aloe gel absorbs too quickly and not to use it but I do apply it inbetween the aquaphor. Good luck!

  • newfmama
    newfmama Member Posts: 46

    I see that the main ingredient in Aquaphor is petroleum jelly. I’ve used it before and it seems so greasy. Hard to imagine that almost on the cancer centers are recommending this product.

  • cowgirl13
    cowgirl13 Member Posts: 774

    Aquaphor really works. No problem at all for me - I found about it as there were bowls of the small tubes of aquaphor in the radiology waiting room.

  • exbrnxgrl
    exbrnxgrl Member Posts: 4,737

    Most find Aquaphor to be an excellent product to use during rads. But if you have sensitivity to petroleum jelly products there are other options. There isn’t going to be a product that’s 100% perfect for every patient.

  • spookiesmom
    spookiesmom Member Posts: 8,167

    I have used calendula the first time I did rads. It was ok. Then I found aloe with lidocaine. My RO approved it. That really helped with the itching. I thought aquaphor was too greasy, didn’t like it.

    Each one has their own preference, try them all!

  • pinkrules
    pinkrules Member Posts: 96

    I'm on my last accelerated radiation treatment today and have been applying Aquaphor four times a day, beginning the day before it began. I bought the recommended Genie bras that have removable pads that keep the greasiness from getting on my shirts. Applying Aquaphor has helped me tremendously, I'm having no problems at all with sunburn or uncomfortableness. But for the next few weeks side effects can keep coming so I'll see.