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Topic: Skin Cream during radiation

Forum: Radiation Therapy - Before, During, and After —

What to expect from treatment and ways to cope with side effects.

Posted on: Jul 27, 2007 05:21AM

CarrieDee wrote:

Figured I would post this as a separate topic so people wouldn't have to dig to find out the information.

What was the best cream/gel used during radiation?

I was just given a sample of Radiogel- has anyone used this?

I tried the Aquaphor and found it sticky and my skin actually felt more itchy after I applied it.

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Posts 181 - 210 (225 total)

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Oct 21, 2009 07:00PM Sunone wrote:

I'm starting rads tomorrow, so went out today and bought some 100% aloe vera. I was also going to buy the Aquaphor I've seen mentioned, but noticed it had a warning about getting sunburned more easily while using it because it contains alpha hydroxy (I think that was what it was, but not 100% sure) so it said to make sure you had on sunscreen if you use it. So , I know that radiation and sunburn are different, but since many people describe radiation skin damage to be somwhat like sunburn it made me wonder if Aquaphor would make the radiation worse, or is it ok as long as it is washed off and not put on within 4 hours prior to radiation. As I haven't started the rads yet, I hadn't asked what they recommend at the rad clinic.

Dx 8/10/2009, DCIS, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR- Surgery 9/8/2009 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel Radiation Therapy 10/19/2009 Breast Dx 10/2011, DCIS, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 2, 0/0 nodes, ER- Surgery 12/2/2011 Lumpectomy: Right Dx 1/24/2014, DCIS, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 1 Dx 2/12/2014, DCIS, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3 Surgery 4/11/2014 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap
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Oct 25, 2009 03:13PM bcamnb wrote:

Hi All,

 My first post on this site - for what it's worth.... 

I finished 16 rad  treatments in early Sept. I used -

* very  mild soap in a WARM shower (Although Dove was recommended, I used a natural olive oil soap)

 * Glaxal cream (the base for most cream medications) applied liberally 2 - 3 x /day,  given to me by the rad folk

* a cotton bra (which, because I am/was a 38 DD, I wore the whole time with no problems, except for its becoming very multicoloured where I was marked each day ;-)

and I aired my breast for at least an hour /day

This was great and I had no skin issues BUT 7 - 10 days after the rad was over, when I was told it would peak, it did and I had all sorts of skin issues although never blistering the skin. These lasted for several weeks.  Coincidently, I began using Dove soap (we were away). I was told to back off the cream.

Almost two monthe later, my skin is good except for a new, worrisome mole that has appeared and we are watching.

Good luck all.

Caroline Dx 5/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Oct 27, 2009 12:06AM Sunone wrote:

wow Caroline 7 to 10 days after rads? just when you think you are safe huh? Thanks for the info, hope the mole turns out to be ok.

Dx 8/10/2009, DCIS, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR- Surgery 9/8/2009 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel Radiation Therapy 10/19/2009 Breast Dx 10/2011, DCIS, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 2, 0/0 nodes, ER- Surgery 12/2/2011 Lumpectomy: Right Dx 1/24/2014, DCIS, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 1 Dx 2/12/2014, DCIS, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3 Surgery 4/11/2014 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap
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Oct 27, 2009 04:39AM MTG wrote:

Caroline - Thanks for the warning !!! I'm starting boosts today and several people have warned me that boosts are esp hard on the skin and also that I need to keep moisturizing for 2 weeks after everything ends. As on woman put it, we keep "cooking". It's one of those warnings like "Look both ways before you cross the street"; one can't here it too much !

M Dx 6/30/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Oct 27, 2009 02:27PM bcamnb wrote:

Hi MTG,

Good luck with the boost.  I didn't have one - just the usual dose spread over 16 Rx - so maybe I was boosted all along!

Anyway, although I was warned about afterward, I sort of scoffed at it - and should not have - that turned out to be my worst time skin wise - SO.....air, mild soap, warm water, and cream (but what helped me was to actually back off the cream)....whatever works for YOU - amazing how different we all are.

 GL again!

Caroline Dx 5/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Oct 27, 2009 05:12PM - edited Oct 27, 2009 05:13PM by RunswithScissors

YoungOldMe,

I feel the same way you do about petroleum based ingredients. I haven't used products like this for years. It seems like during rads it's even more important to avoid parabens, synthetic fragrances etc. 

I don't start rads until Dec, but I've been giving a lot of thought to what I will use during tx.  This thread has been very helpful! 

I'm really considering the suggestion to make a tea with dried calendula and  comfrey, maybe I'll apply that  in a base of 100% aloe. 

I'd like to follow it up  with something oily/softening.   Does anyone know if there is a particular reason to avoid vit e oil during rads? I'm thinking of adding  a few drops of vit e to olive or coconut oil, to help seal in some moisture. 

I'd rather die while I'm living than live while I'm dead.. Jimmy Buffet Dx 3/2009, Stage IV, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Oct 27, 2009 05:29PM - edited Oct 27, 2009 05:31PM by bcamnb

"Hi Phil,

Don't go near the Vit E. I even had to forgo my vaginal Vit E suppositories (for dryness...) while I was taking my rad.  

" Vitamin E is an antioxidant, a compound that blocks the action of free radicals (activated oxygen molecules that can damage cells).....Some scientists believe that taking high doses of antioxidant vitamins may actually interfere with the effectiveness of radiation therapy and some chemotherapy drugs."   From the site: http://www.cancer.org/docroot/ETO/content/ETO_5_3X_Vitamin_E.asp

Be sure to discuss whatever you want to use with your doc/onc nurse/rad therapist. They are the experts and will help yo figure out what's best for you.

Good luck!

Caroline Dx 5/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Oct 27, 2009 06:22PM MTG wrote:

Pill -  Yes, be sure to ask your radiation team. Although I haven't figured out exactly why, the Dos and Dont very dramatically from place to place. Even Vitamin E isn't clear cut. My rad onc at least makes a distinction between topical Vitamin E (okay to use) and Systemic Vitamin E, as in supplements (a big thumbs down). I did a lot of research into topical antioxidants when I started radiation and was super surprised to learn that many of the commonly used radiation creams have anti-oxidants in them. Of course, the farther down on the ingredient list, the less quantity so that's also important to note.  Here's what I found out:

Biafine - contains Squalene (Fish oil; 7th Ingredient), Avocado Oil (8th Ingredient)

Xclair - contains Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter, containing both Vitamin A & E; 3rd Ingredient), Ethylhexyl Palmitate (a derivative of Palm Oil; 5th Ingredient), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E; 11th Ingredient ), Hydrogenated Castor Oil (12th Ingredient)

Radx - Sweet Almond Oil (3rd Ingredient after Aloe and Water)

Miaderm - Calendula ( 3rd  and 4th Ingredient), Rosa Canina Seed Oil (Rose Hip Oil containing Vitamin E; 13th Ingredient)

Alra  Therapy Lotion - Vitamin E

Jeans Cream - Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E Acetate)

By the way, Olive Oil is also a strong antioxidant

 Caroline - I had actually backed off the lotions as well; to me, they seemed to be aggravating and bringing out the bumps more than if I did nothing. Then the nurse showed me how burnt I was getting and suggested that the bumps might be better to deal with than the burn that would result if I went thru boosts using very little moisturizer. So, I started again

M Dx 6/30/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Nov 1, 2009 11:05AM MarkeyGoW wrote:

Hello.... although I am not dealing with radiation treatments a friend of mine is.  She asked that
I look around at products out there for her comfort.  I ended up here and the reading is amazing
as the support and kindness is overwhelming in a wonderful way.  What do the oncologists say
about honey and the skin?  Specifically live honey like Manuka Honey?

Thank you for allowing me to ask this question and my prayers and thoughts are to you all.

 M. Martin

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Nov 1, 2009 03:07PM MTG wrote:

MarkeyGoW - You're a really good friend !

As far as I know, there's only been a bit of discussion about it on this site and they make a distinction between super market honey and pure, medical grade honey. Check out: Topic: Has anyone else used "MediHoney?" at http://community.breastcancer.org/forum/70/topic/741969?page=1#post_1547628  as well as another thread on this Discussion Board, "Honey heals wounds- Research to back it" at http://community.breastcancer.org/forum/79/topic/736964/1438443

For even more information and some direct feedback, why don't you also post your question on the natural girls site:  http://community.breastcancer.org/forum/79/topic/730113?page=107#idx_3192 .

One word of advice: If you're friend decides to use honey and lives in the US, she might want to do some research and find studies re: using honey to give to her radiation oncologist. From my personal experience, rad oncs here are hesitant to give their okay to use a "natural cure" that they're unfamiliar with, unless there's some empirical evidence that such a cure does work. I used Apple Cider Vinegar (10% ACV to 90% water) and at first my radonc said "No"; after I showed her my research, she not only okayed it but was rather intrigued by the whole thing.

As for the use of honey, I found a very small Dutch study specifically on point,  "The Effect of Honey Compared to Conventional Treatment on Healing of Radiotherapy Induced Skin Toxicity in Breast Cancer Patients" (see http://pdfserve.informaworld.com/892817__749296021.pdf ); it looked at 24 patients and found that those using honey actually had less pain, itching and irritation than those using traditional salves. However, I think that they used medical grade/sterile honey rather than the sort we put on bread or in tea.  

By the way, you might also find helpful a comprehensive list of lotions and creams used by the various women on this site: http://community.breastcancer.org/forum/70/topic/739663?page=1#idx_14  

The ladies on this site are really quite helpful. Feel free to ask questions.

M Dx 6/30/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Nov 10, 2009 07:19AM inforeffy wrote:

My doctor gave me bottles of RadiaGuard to use during my treatment, and also for afterward. Following radiation, she also prescribed a medication and Vitamin E to treat the breast tissue. One year out almost, no problems. I have trouble remembering even, but I believe I had 38 treatments. Something that I thought I'd never forget, but time heals too.

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Nov 13, 2009 06:52PM minevicp wrote:

Hi everyone, 

Just wanted to let everyone know that I used Aveeno cream for dry skin throughout my treatment (5 weeks) after it was approved by my rads team. I think it helped a lot; I never had skin breakdown, although the skin under my arm turned almost black and eventually peeled. The worst time was the 2 weeks post-rad (I finished Oct. 20), I couldn't believe how sensitive and sore my skin was. I bought Basics cotton bras at Walmart for a big $10 each, and they really helped during the treatment. Good luck to everyone, and I hope this helps. 

Cancer is a word, not a sentence! Dx 1/14/2009, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 1/15 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Nov 20, 2009 01:27AM linnyk wrote:

I finished rads a month ago. In the beginning the nurses gave me Sensi-cream and told me to apply it 4 hours before treatment, then again in the evening. They worked fine for 3 weeks, then the skin started to redden under my breast and they gave me triamcinolone acetonide cream, but that wasn't helpful so they switched me to radiation relief cream. That was good. Plus they gave me a stretchy bra (made by DALE) and pads to stop any rubbing irritation under my arm and under the breast.

After the first 3 weeks, on weekends, I left my breast clear of all creams and slathered my breast in pure aloe vera I bought at the health food store (AlBrey Organics). Very soothing.

I am a light-skinned redhead yet the nurses said my skin did very well.

Now, a month later, the redness is gone and the dark "sunburn" has all flaked away. No hardness either!. (I am still using the aloe.)

The nurses were very good at skin care after every treatment.

I hope this is helpful.

Dx <1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Nov 24, 2009 06:30PM elizabetsy wrote:

I used Radioplex from the beginning of the therapy. By the last 3 weeks, I was as red as a tomato. Very sore & itchy with blisters. I did some internet research and found that Fluocinolone Acetonide had been found to help. I happened to have some in the form of Derma-Smoothe, an Rx I got for exema. I used that and after 3 days all the itching & soreness was really a lot better! The radiologist was surprised at how good my skin looked. I now am taking Arimidex (for 2 months so far) and am getting itching from that around my neck, hairline & shoulders. The Derma Smoothe seems to help with that also, although it isn't really going away.

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Nov 10, 2010 05:05PM Kahulaconn wrote:

Hello,

I would like the name and where I can purchase the cream.  I am very sensitive to all creams.

Thanks for your time.

Kahulaconn@aol.com

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Nov 10, 2010 05:16PM Medigal wrote:

I was given a jar of Sween's Creme and told to use nothing else after every treatment.  It was fantastic and I had to use so little I still have most of it left in the jar!  My new Onc says he can't believe I had any Rads because I show no signs whatsoever on my skin and I never did even when it was done.  This is why I wonder how so many can be concerned about getting the treatments.  As long as they know their job and one follows instructions for use of the cream, it can be very easy, or at least it was for me.

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Nov 16, 2010 08:28PM MaryQ wrote:

Using a good skin care cream during radiation is so important.  I was given Aquaphor and did not like it at all.  I did a lot of research and the radiation skin cream I used was not greasy and it really helped. 
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Nov 19, 2010 11:13AM tbrown wrote:

Hi Thressa,

I read your review and was very impressed with it. I'm in my second week of radiation treatments and as of now I see no reaction. My RO told me not to expect any; but my surgeon said it would occur. Within your review you mention if anyone wanted a sample to let you know. How do I get a sample of the cream you are speaking about. I realize your review was written in 2008, can you still supply the sample.

Terri Brown

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Nov 19, 2010 11:25AM kathylev wrote:

I used XClaire cream.  I had to have a prescription.  I used it three to five times a day and had no difficulties at all going through radiation.   Can't really say if it was the cream or just luck, but I am a red head with very fair skin.  It's very important that there be nothing on your skin at the time of treatment.  I timed my treatments so I'd have enough time to shower and wash all the cream off just before radiation.  I'd re-apply immediately after treatment.  Hope this helps.  Good Luck!

Dx 9/29/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Nov 19, 2010 11:29AM Bambaloos wrote:

I used pure Emu Oil (which was approved by the Doctor) and had very few problems with  my radiation treatment both during and after.  Hope this helps! Have a good weekend everyone.

Mandy Dx 1/15/2010, IDC, 5cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 6/28 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Nov 19, 2010 11:36PM QCA wrote:

MaryQ, I posted yesterday on another radiation thread that you have already been reported to administration for using this site as free advertising for your skin cream.  You have used several different names to post, but you always give yourself away when you include a link to your cream. 
Kathy Dx 7/7/2010, ILC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Nov 21, 2010 04:01PM susantm wrote:

Today a lady at church advised me that when she had breast cancer a few years ago, her doctor advised her to put baking soda (Actually she couldn't remember if it was baking soda or baking powder) on her breast right after each radiation session. She said she had absolutely no problems. Has anyone heard of this?

Dx 9/27/2010, ILC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Nov 21, 2010 05:49PM kathylev wrote:

I used baking soda also, but only to keep the folds of the skin dry.  I used it under my arms and breasts, but used the XClaire cream on the radiated areas of my breast as well. 

Dx 9/29/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 3, 2011 01:01AM lstimler94 wrote:

I like to suggest KindCoupons.org. It is also a great site to save money and also help a charity.
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Mar 25, 2011 06:58AM posenni wrote:

Can you get me the name of the cream? Is it available in the US or on the internet? Thanks - I am just starting radiation so I am very interested!

Dx 1/7/2011, IDC, 3cm, Stage II, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Mar 25, 2011 07:16AM Snobird wrote:

I used pure aloevera gel as recommended by my radiologist. They sold it in the hospital pharmacy. I didn't put it on until after my RADS but then put in on immediately after and again before bedtime. Radiologist wanted me not to put any thing on prior to RADS. I never developed a burn or blistered skin. I had a slight tan when I was done. Also, my radiologist said no tanning beds or sun tanning without covering up the radiated site forever due to additional skin damage.

Dx 10/2006, Paget's, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+ Surgery 12/19/2006 Lumpectomy: Left Surgery 2/14/2007 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 3/6/2007 Surgery 12/5/2010 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Surgery 11/16/2011 Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction
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Mar 26, 2011 01:50PM Lee7 wrote:

Look for 100% Aloe Vera gel...(with no added alcohol which can be drying).  And it's not expensive at all !!

Dx 10/2010, IDC, Stage IIA, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 28, 2011 02:59PM 3teacher wrote:

You can find 100% aloe vera gel at Walmart. It's in the lotion section- Fruit of the Earth is the brand name. I have never seen it anywhere else around here. cheap- like 4 bucks

Dx 8/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 1/11 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Mar 28, 2011 07:49PM Lee7 wrote:

That's where I'm buying it! 

Dx 10/2010, IDC, Stage IIA, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 26, 2011 10:21PM Spinnerpom wrote:

This thread has been very helpful.  As a (very) small busted redhead, I have been quite concerned about the effects of radiation on my skin. Lots of good recommendations here.  I don't start rads until January, but I fell much better prepared now!

Sara

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