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  • Author: Dušanka Tešanović x
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Radiodermatitis - review of treatment options


Radiation dermatitis is one of the commonest side effects of ionizing radiation which is applied in radiotherapy of carcinoma of all localizations, most frequently of tumors of breast, head and neck region, lungs and soft tissue sarcomas. It usually occurs as a complication of breast radiotherapy and thus it is more often recorded in female patients on the skin in the region of breast subjected to radiation. Clinical manifestations of radiation dermatitis can be divided into four phases: acute phase (erythema, dry desquamation, moist desquamation, ulceration and necrosis with resulting re-epithelialization, residual post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, reduction and suppression of sebaceous and sweat glands and epilation); subacute phase (hyperpigmentation and hypopigmentation, telangiectasia, skin atrophy, even ulceration); chronic phase (skin atrophy, dermal fibrosis and permanent skin epilation) and late phase (increased risk of skin cancer). In order to prevent radiation dermatitis, skin care products should be applied throughout radiotherapy that will decrease the frequency of skin reactions or block them and thus improve life quality. Although the therapy includes not only topical corticosteroids but numerous other products with active ingredients such as aloe vera, calendula, hyaluronic acid, sucralfat, sorbolene, mineral and olive oil, honey, vitamin C, zinc, antimicrobials and silver, common therapeutic consensus has not been reached on their application in radiation dermatitis. Therefore, the treatment should be conducted according to the basic guidelines but tailor-made for each individual patient.

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