Your skin in the treated area may get red, dry and itchy. Dark skin may get darker or have a blue or black tinge. Your nurse or radiographer will give you advice on looking after your skin. If it becomes sore and flaky, your doctor can prescribe creams or dressings to help this.
Skin reactions usually settle down 2–4 weeks after radiotherapy.
Here are some tips to help with skin irritation:
- Don’t put anything on your skin in the treated area without checking with your nurse or radiographer first.
- Have a tepid or warm shower rather than a bath if you can. Turn away from the spray to protect your breast.
- Pat the area dry gently with a soft towel. Don’t rub the area.
- Wear loose clothing , as it is less likely to irritate your skin.
- You need to avoid exposing the treated area to sunshine for at least a year after treatment finishes. Use suncream with a high sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 to protect your skin if it’s exposed.