What Happens To My Skin During Radiation Therapy?

How Does Radiation Work to Treat Cancer?

The use of radiation to treat cancer dates all the way back to 1896 and, now, 125 years later, more than 50% of all cancer patients receive radiation as part of their treatment. Radiation therapy is highly effective in killing cancer cells and preventing the recurrence of cancer somewhere else in the body. Radiation treatments may be external or internal. The most common form of external radiation used today is from X-rays (“photons”). Another type of external radiation uses protons instead of X-rays to provide the energy to kill cancer cells. Regardless of which form of radiation is used, the treatment is effective because the radiation damages the DNA of rapidly growing cancer cells, thus preventing them from growing and dividing. Since cancer cells have defective repair mechanisms, they can’t repair the damage to their DNA and they die. Although radiation is effective at killing rapidly dividing cells, slowly growing normal cells are still susceptible to radiation damage, and as a result radiation treatments can cause damage to your skin.

Why are there so many treatment sessions?

Radiation therapy typically involves once a day treatments, five days a week. The total course of treatment will vary depending on the cancer, but may span a period of 5-9 weeks. Radiation is given in a series of treatments rather than all at once for several reasons; 1) the total dose needed to kill the cancer cells is too great to be given in one or two treatments, 2) cancer cells take time to die and repeated doses maximize the effectiveness in destroying the cancer, 3) smaller doses cause less damage to normal tissues, and 4) having 2 days each week without radiation helps healthy cells recover between doses.

Researchers are looking at different ways to adjust the radiation dose or schedule in order to reach the total dose of radiation more quickly and several protocols , including accelerated fractionation, exist for using higher doses over fewer treatments. However, with higher doses, the probablity of damage to normal cells increases.

What Does Radiation Do to the Skin?

While radiation destroys cancer cells very effectively, it can also damage normal tissues. In regard to the skin, radiation may cause a form of dermatitis, called radiation dermatitis. One can think of radiation dermatitis as something similar to a sun burn. When the skin is exposed to radiation (either X-rays or UV rays from the sun), the energy of the radiation triggers an inflammatory response in the skin. This causes skin inflammation, which is accompanied by pain, itching, redness, swelling, and even blistering. And similar to a sunburn, the less time the skin is exposed to radiation, the less inflammation and dermatitis will occur. For example, breast cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy may see little or no change to their skin for the first 10 treatments, but during the third week of radiation the skin may start to turn red and become tender to the touch, which is very similar to what one experiences with a sunburn. As the treatments progress through the next few weeks, the radiation dermatitis can worsen, and the skin will become sore, extremely painful to touch, and may blister. But because it is so important to complete the entire number of radiation sessions in order to effectively eliminate the cancer, patients are encouraged to finish their treatment. For patients to successfully complete their radiation therapy, it is important to use skin care products that can keep the skin highly moisturized. The more hydrated the skin the better the skin will look and the easier it will be to finish all of the required radiation sessions.

"Providing soothing relief and maintaining a highly moisturized and healthy looking skin throughout the entire course of radiation is what DermaRad was designed for and we offer a money back guarantee! If you the product does not work as described, please send at least half of the used bottle back and we will issue a full refund"

What Is DermaRad Relief?

DermaRad Relief® has been specifically designed for use by radiation patients during their treatments. This topical lotion contains many highly moisturizing oils, humectants, antioxidants, and emollients, which are formulated at high concentrations to provide maximum moisturizing effects. DermaRad Relief® also contains the antioxidant, Vitamin E, as well as DermaMedics’® patented and powerful antioxidant, 4-propyl guaiacol. Antioxidants are extremely important ingredients for skincare products because they have the ability to inactivate and eliminate surface free radicals that can damage the skin. Because of its high level of moisturizers and antioxidants, DermaRad Relief® offers cancer patients a superior topical product to use throughout their radiation treatments to help maintain a highly moisturized and healthy-looking skin.

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Cancer Patient Responses Regarding the Use of DermaRad Relief® Skin Care

(Response from 49 Patients)

93.8% of patients surveyed were satisfied or more than satisfied with cosmetic benefits of DermaRad Relief®. (46 out of 49 patients – 23 very satisfied, 23 satisfied, and 3 not satisfied)

91.8% of patients of patients surveyed would recommend DermaRad Relief® to a friend with cancer that was experiencing cosmetic skin care appearance problems because of their treatment

Why Use Our DermaRad Relief System?

Cancer patients undergoing radiation treatment will likely experience significant cosmetic skin problems such as dryness, skin roughness and redness. These conditions typically worsen as radiation treatments progress. To help maintain a healthy looking skin, patients need to use creams or lotions that provide extremely high levels of moisturizing oils, humectants, and antioxidants. DermaRad Relief Rehydrating Emulsion was specifically designed to meet the skin care needs of radiation patients. This unique formulation utilizes gentle, skin friendly oils and humectants resulting in a highly moisturizing lotion that is soothing and gentle to sensitive and damaged skin. In addition, the patented antioxidants in DermaRad Relief are potent inhibitors of surface free radicals.

The DermaRad Advantage

  • DermaRad eliminates skin dryness and rough texture caused by radiation damage to the skin.
  • DermaRad Relief contains high levels of oils, humectants and potent antioxidants to help keep your skin hydrated with a soft and smooth texture
  • DermaRad is clinically tested for use during radiation treatments
  • DermaRad is dermatologist recommended for use during radiation
  • DermaRad Relief’s high levels of moisturizing ingredients helps skin retain its robust and healthy appearance throughout the entire treatment period.
  • DermaRad Relief is the best and most moisturizing product to use during radiation
  • Only DermaRad Relief contains our proprietary and patented antioxidants
  • The antioxidants in DermaRad inactivate destructive free radicals
  • DermaRad is designed to be extremely soothing and gentle for sensitive skin
  • Non-tacky, non-sticky, rapidly absorbs into the skin and leaves no greasy film
  • Nurtures skin to achieve a youthful, healthy skin appearance
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Dermamedics' products contain the company’s patented antioxidant technology that was discovered by scientists conducting drug discovery research at a major medical school. Their five year research program focused on identifying natural compounds that could demonstrate anti-inflammatory and anti-aging activities when tested on human skin cells grown in culture. The patented antioxidant compound in DermaRad was one of over 300 natural compounds screened for beneficial effects on skin cells. The name of this compound is 4-propyl guaiacol (also known as dihydroeugenol and trademarked as Therosol®), and it is found in all DermaMedics products, including DermaRad Relief. Interestingly, this compound has been approved as a food flavoring agent for over 50 years and is considered GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) for use in foods. You’ve probably even eaten it in foods, like cakes and cookies! Because it has been used in foods, its safety has been rigorously tested. Therosol® is found in Bordeaux wines, karanda fruit, clove, oregano, beer, cheese, tea, sherry, rum, and whiskey, to list a few sources.

Although the compound has been used for years, it had never been studied for its biological activity, and DermaMedics scientists were the first to discover its unique and beneficial effects on skin. Because of this, DermaMedics has been able to obtain worldwide patent protection for the use of this compound in topical skin care products. The inclusion of this natural antioxidant compound in DermaRad Relief makes the product truly unique in its ability to provide radiation patients with a highly effective skin care product. If you are interested in reviewing the DermaMedics patents that cover the technology for this and other natural compounds that were discovered by DermaMedics, the U.S. patent numbers are #9,622,950 and #9,616006.

Therosol® Can Be Found In

Bordeaux Wine

Karanda Fruit





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DermaRad Relief with 4% lidocaine & 1% Allantoin

DermaMedics now offers two versions of DermaRad Relief lotion, our current version and a new OTC version that modifies the original formulation of DermaRad Relief Topical Rehydrating Emulsion to include 4% lidocaine and allantoin. These two FDA approved OTC topical active ingredients  provide enhanced burn relief and skin protection for patients undergoing radiation treatments or for patients  receiving any medical treatments that can cause skin damage, burning and pain. Finally, DermaRad Relief with Lidocaine is ideal for use after the skin has been exposed to too much sun. Applying our lidocaine version of DermaRad Relief will give instant relief from the painful effects of sunburn.  4oz UPC: 0689396008052

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DermaRad Relief - 4oz

DermaRad Relief Rehydrating Emulsion has been specifically designed for use by cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy. This highly moisturizing lotion is ideal for patients who have unique skin appearance problems because of their treatments. It contains high levels of antioxidants and natural oils needed to soothe the skin and protect it from dehydration.  6oz UPC: 0689396008137

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DermaRad Relief Foaming Cleanser is an extremely gentle cleanser specifically designed for use by cancer patients whose skin has been damaged by radiation and/or chemotherapy treatments. This cleanser is soap-free and has been formulated with skin moisturizers as well as a unique blend of mild, yet highly effective skin cleansing surfactants. It is pH balanced to the pH of your skin. Cleanser pumps out in a rich foam. 5oz  UPC: 0689396008076

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DermaRad Relief Complete Calming Bundle

This bundle contains 1 Gentle Foaming Cleanser 5oz bottle, 2 Topical Rehydrating Emulsion 4oz tubes, 2 Topical Rehydrating Emulsion with lidocaine 4oz tubes, and 1 Post Radiation Serum 1.7oz bottle, all packaged in a zippered bag. This bundle provides ultimate comfort and moisturization for patients undergoing radiation treatments.  The soap free cleanser in this bundle is soap-free and pH balanced for sensitive skin. UPC: 0689396008205

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DermaRad Relief Post Radiation Serum 1.7oz

DermaRad Relief® Radiation Serum has been specifically designed for use by cancer patients whose skin has been damaged, abraded or blistered by radiation treatments. Because it is a silicone based product without soap-like emulsifiers, it can be applied to damaged skin with no discomfort or stinging. The high level of moisturizing oils help reduce water loss and soothe the skin. Antioxidants in the serum fight free radicals to calm and improve skin appearance. 1.7oz  UPC: 0689396008069

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DermaRad Relief Calming Bundle

This bundle contains 2 - 4oz tubes of DermaRad Relief Topical Rehydrating Emulsion, 2 - 4oz tubes of DermaRad Relief Topical Rehydrating Emulsion w/Lidocaine and 1 bottle of DermaRad Relief Post Radiation Serum (1.7oz). The Radiation Serum in this bundle is ideal for areas of the skin that are damaged, blistered or abraded. The gentle silicone based serum can be applied without stinging or discomfort, and will soothe and moisturize damaged skin.  UPC: 0689396008199

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Sun Care Bundle

Bundle Includes: Foaming Facial Cleanser 5oz DermaRad (regular) 4oz DermaRad (4% Lidocaine & 1% Allantoin 4oz Calm & Correct Serum 1.7oz Restorative Lip Balm 0.15oz

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We love hearing from our customers, please let us know what you think by leaving us a review!

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I have used the skin care products for several years and they are the best I have used!

-Becky D.

I have been using the products for a couple years now! Love the products. And I love the science behind the line.

-By Stephanie R.

I love the products for the first time in years I don't have dry patches.

-By Sheila B.

The product has done an amazing job for my wife, she has struggled with skincare and finally found a working combintation using Dermamedics products.

-By Seth B.