Sun Safety After Cancer Treatment. There are health benefits to sun exposure—improved mood and vitamin D, as well as warmth. But many people don't realize that radiation therapy, as well as chemotherapy, can cause sensitivity to the sun. ... The same precautions apply to areas of the skin that receive radiation therapy.
Chemotherapy and immunotherapy can make the skin much more sensitive to the sun, and more likely to burn. On the parts of the body that were exposed to the radiation treatment. Treated parts of the body are very likely to burn if exposed to direct sunlight. Your scars will be very sensitive to sunlight.
Try to limit your sun exposure between 10:00 am and 3:00 pm, which is when the sun's rays are strongest. Use sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher and reapply it often, especially after sweating or swimming.
Some patients experience very dry skin. Use a mild soap and lukewarm water or a mild cleansing lotion or cream. Avoid prolonged sun exposure. Use sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher unless otherwise directed by your doctor. Consult a cosmetologist for specific techniques to improve the look and feel of your skin during treatment.
It is essential to leave the marks your doctor or radiation therapist might have applied. They will eventually fade away. Avoid exposing treated areas to the sun. Do not use sunscreens until all your radiation treatments are complete, unless your doctor approves.
If the treatment area itches, tell your radiation therapist.
Temporary pigmentation change, redness or tanning may occur during treatment. Check with your doctor about using a cosmetic concealer.
Do not use cosmetics, perfumes, or deodorants on treated areas before checking with your radiation therapist.
Avoid extremes in temperatures on treated areas. If your skin is still irritated after your radiation treatment is complete, ask your radiotherapist to recommend a moisturizer and sunscreen.
Tell your doctor immediately if you notice any signs of infection or changes in skin color.