Preventing Radiation Dermatitis

Radiation dermatitis is a common adverse event for patients with head and neck cancer undergoing radiation therapy, but a new kind of dressing may help.

A new kind of dressing may be able to help prevent and reduce the symptoms of radiation dermatitis in patients being treated for head and neck cancer, according to Raymond Chan, PhD, RN, BN, MAppSc, professor of cancer nursing at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia.

Chan and his team tested a non-steroidal, silicone-based clear gel that is applied to the radiation site. The product forms a dressing that prevents transdermal water loss and reduces inflammation. And while there was no statistically significant patient-reported outcomes regarding pain and itch, the product may be able to mitigate the severity of radiation dermatitis, thereby improving patients' quality of life.