Skin Side Effects

Your skin may appear sunburned and may darken over time when you undergo radiation therapy. Sometimes these changes return to normal, but some women are left with permanent skin changes their breast may look or feel a little different.

You may notice that your skin in the treatment area may become reddened, irritated, sunburned, or tanned. After a few weeks you may have dry skin from the therapy.

With some kinds of radiation, treated skin may develop a moist reaction, especially in areas where there are skin folds. When this happens, the skin is wet and it may become very sore. It is important to tell your health care provider if you notice this kind of reaction. She or he can give you suggestions on how to keep these areas dry. Most skin reactions to radiation therapy should go away a few weeks after treatment is finished. In some cases, though, the treated skin will remain darker than it was before radiation therapy.

A patient receiving radiation therapy.

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