Proper Skin Care is Critical for Radiation Patients

External beam radiation treatments are a common course for people battling a variety of cancers. For most, proper skin care is essential to hold off or lessen the effects of radiation dermatitis. Even so, many patients fail to follow through with simple measures that can lessen the impacts of this common side effect.

Radiation dermatitis is essentially a skin reaction that is quite common in those undergoing routine cancer treatments. Visible changes in the skin caused by treatment can be embarrassing for patients and even quite uncomfortable. Despite this, many doctors find that patients just aren’t following through with proper care on their end.

A recently held multidimensional intervention, however, is shedding light on some of the reasons why skin care routines are not followed to the letter and how to overcome them. Even though this type of intervention can delay the onset of dermatitis and help lessen its severity, there is often a disconnect in making sure a care routine is carried out. Researchers are finding that a multifaceted approach on the part of medical staff may increase patient use of proper skin care techniques.

So, what are some of the reasons for the disconnect?

According to the World Health Organization, some of the facets that may come into play to cause failure to comply include patient understanding, the condition in question, economics and the health system involved, among others. When these facets are more readily addressed, compliance tends to be higher. Researchers have also found that more aggressive educational procedures help. These include video presentations, verbal education sessions and delivery of written instructions, along with reinforcing follow-up instructions.

Completely avoiding radiation dermatitis may not be possible for patients undergoing cancer treatments. Proper skin care, however, can lessen its effects and even stall its appearance.

Patients who are undergoing radiation are urged to talk with their healthcare providers about the best skincare practices to adopt during treatments.

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