Help! Radiotherapy rash/spots

I have decided to come here and get advice from the experts!
I asked after my treatment today if there was anything I could use to soothe the red itchy rash/spots that I have developed on one edge of my treatment area.The radiographers looked at me as if I had asked something much more bizarre!
“Try talc” said one.
I feel that talc would be the last thing I want to put on my sore itchy skin!In fact many websites say no talc.
In my hospital we are told to only use simple soap and NO creams.
Another radiographer said she would call someone for advice.(should they not know themselves!)
Eventually 50 mins later a student came and said “we advise you just to use baby talc from the fridge”
Has anyone else had this rash and what advice was given?
Has anyone used baby talc?


Can’t you use aqueous cream? That’s the only thing I’ve been told I can use and I’m slapping it on liberally twice a day. I don’t see how talc would help, actually just the thought of talc on a rash makes me want to scratch!!

I got these spots too but they are not too itchy. I have been told not to use any soap whatsoever on the treatment area and only to use aqueous cream sparingly (but I slap it on in the evening :smiley: )

Perhaps try not to use soap (even simple soap) in that area for a while and see if that stops the itchiness.

Thanks girls.

Gennie ,I agree ,just thinking about talc make me want to scratch too!
I mean you wouldn’t put talc on sunburn!

Gocat,good idea.I think I will leave out the soap and if that doesn’t help I will try a little aqueous cream.My centre says not to use creams but my theory is that as there is little evidence to say they provide benefit, my local NHS would rather save the money!

I know its not a huge deal really but it just gets me down when its so itchy and I can’t do anything.The radiographers were so dismissive I just felt so fed up.I guess I am having a down day!


Hi, my treatment centre give out Aquaous cream, no talc is recommended as it is gritty and use no soap or Simple soap and pat dry do not rub with towel. I kept my cream in the fridge and used it often.
I also after treatment finished (two weeks ago) required Canestan HC for underneath breast as it was weepy and my GP thought it may have been fungal.
I am still very itchy and still putting on the Aquaous Cream, keep getting little gritty crystals coming from the spots. Most uncomfortable the wounds have ever been and that includes immediate post-surgery.
Seeing oncology this afternoon so any up-date on what they tell me to use I will post later.
Sorry, not a very positive post for you.

Irene,that sounds like what I have got.There sometimes is gritty bits in the area.
You can use aqueous cream to wash can’t you? I might try that,if missing out the soap doesn’t help
Thanks for the support,its great to know I am not the only one.


Hi Dot, ive just been slapping on the aquoeus cream, ive also used it in the shower to wash that part. I finnished radio last Friday and now have horrible wee black marks like black heads, not very attractive and yes I am still itchy too!!!

dont think I would put talc near it though!!!

love and itches

Carol xx

I wonder if it would be worth trying an oral antihistamine?
elinda x

Hey thats a good idea!
I will try that,

Hi Dot
I go to Christie Hosp in Manchester and their regime for radiotherapy says to use aqueous cream or E45 to the whole area twice a day. If your skin gets itchy and sore they prescribe 1% hydrocortisone cream for you to use sparingly. Basically everything else except Simple or baby soap for washing is cosidered taboo. I’ve 1 more session out of 15 to go and have been given Hydrocortisone cream as my skin is just beginning to itch. I think you can download their booklet from the internet. It is The Christie NHS Foundation Trust “Radiotherapy after breast surgery”
Hope this helps.

Hi All,
Thanks for all the tips.
I took an antihistime tablet last night and it has helped with the itching.I got to see the nurse today and she gave me hydrocortisone cream.I am just annoyed that no-one could help at the hospital yesterday.She also shook her head at the talc suggestion!
Spotty dotty

I got told a load of unscientific rubbish by my radiographers! They also recommended Simple Soap.

I said I hated Simple Soap as I don’t get on with lanolin and find the wet sheep smell of Simple Soap rather horrible. I was told it was to avoid metals. I said that according to the periodic table, sodium is a metal and therefore Simple Soap contains a metal. She said she meant what lay people understand to be a “real metal” and I said that Sanex didn’t have “real metals” either and Sanex had the advantage of being pH balanced. She couldn’t argue her way out of that one so she had a little tantrum and said it was up to me if I chose to ignore her advice.

As an oldie (in my fifties)it is a bad joke to me that Radiography has been upgraded to being a graduate profession when those emerging from the courses know less chemistry than I did at 13! No, I wasn’t particularly good at chemistry and dropped it soon after.

I don’t have a rash or spots but my skin is very red and hot, boob tender and feels swollen underneath. The radiographers gave me a tub of Aqueous cream, and also a tube of 99% pure Aloe Vera plus some wierd things called ‘Geliperm’ - basically large squares of cold clear ‘jelly’ that you can lay over your boob under your bra. You can wash them and put them in the fridge to make them extra cool - seems quite effective! Might be worth asking for some?

Sounds like everyone gets conflicting advice - Simple soap was recommended to me but no talc.

Hi Dotchas, sorry didn’t get back till now. Oncologist and BCN both said to stick with aquaous cream, and I also take anti-histamine. Apparently this horrible itch and spotty areas will clear up about 6 weeks after rads. finish. (Oh JOY!)

Feeling a mixture of emotions as have been officially discharged from oncology with a 98% chance of never having a re-occurance but for some odd reason I still am having shaky moments. Can’t believe no more hospital clinic appointments until my yearly check-up next year.

I hope you also get on OK Dotchas and can find someway of cooling down.


Hi Irene,
Thanks for getting back to me.I got hydrocortisone from the nurse yesterday.I don’t know why they couldn’t give me it on Tuesday instead of suggesting talc!
I bought some aqueous cream to wash with as I don’t think the simple soap is helping as it is too drying.
I hope I am not spotty for 6 weeks after rads finish! But I suppose as long as it goes away and the rads do their job!
Its strange when you are finished treatment isn’t it,sort of abandoned and vulnerable.You have to be proud of yourself for getting through this and out the other side.Wobbly moments are normal and it takes time to get your confidence back and sort out all those thoughts in your head.Please take it easy and be kind to yourself…you deserve it!
Spotty dotty

Cheers Dot, having a glass of wine or two tonight still itchy but hopefully not going to be too twitchy tonight. On Arimidex so senior moments I had pre treatment are increased. Just wish there was some way of storing the heat of the boob and the flushes to fuel the heating in the house. Could save a fortune and could be booking that Caribean holiday.

Cooking ain’t fun, will in the future feel sorry for any food I decide to microwave - just hope the scrambled eggs will forgive me.

Try not to scratch too much.

XX Irene

Hi, I have just had the 10th of 25 rads…and my boob is pink and spotty too.i asked the radiographers about it and they just said it’s one of the side effects and will clear up of its own accord. I’m slapping on the aqueous cream too…roll on the end of this step in my treatment!

Hi Irene,

I loved the idea of fuelling the central heating from the flushes and hot boobs. Just think, if we all did it we could solve global warming and replace gas, oil and nuclear energy. I knew there had to be an upside to all this.

Jan xx

I bought a new winter coat a few weeks ago ,and right now I can’t imagine wearing it!

Hi Dot, winter t-shirts will do this year. Bikini in the house. Take the coat back and start doing your Xmas shopping on the proceeds. On second thoughts spend it on a holiday somewhere really hot and you won’t notice the hormone induced moments. If you take the second option let me know if it really works!!!

Just as well there can still be a bit of humour on the Forum at times.

Thinking of you and still trying not to scratch.

Luv to Itchy - from Scratchy.