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Radiotherapy & Aqueous Cream

33 REPLIES 33
mandyj
Member

Re: Radiotherapy & Aqueous Cream

I used Aloe Vera spray. Had 15 standard rads and 5 booster. Showered with Simple shower gel, patted area dry with a towel, sprayed on the Aloe and left it to air dry. No skin probs whatsoever. Only have a darker patch now (2 weeks post rads) from the booster site. Still using the aloe for the next 4 weeks as they said rads still continues to have an effect for up to 6 six weeks afterwards.
xx
sassy1
Member

Re: Radiotherapy & Aqueous Cream

Hi
Yes a bolus definitely does NOT make it hurt. I found rads completely painless. Unfortunately I had a bad reaction with an infection. The bolus in my case was not to protect but to intensify the treatment to quote the radiographer...and I too thought it was to protect. I had a modified radical mx and had ibc so it needed to be intensive on the skin. But after the skin splitting the flamazine cream worked wonders and the skin today 6 weeks later looks fab. It's amazing how well and quickly it heals. X
Madjock
Member

Re: Radiotherapy & Aqueous Cream

I had mx way back in May, had 25 rads sessions all using bolus. Bolus is basically a plastic covered gel that is made to measure for the individual. If they decide you need it they take the measurements at your rads planning session. Got a little bit of the internet which states very roughly what it does. "A bolus is a material that acts like human tissue during radiation therapy. It can be used to "fill in" missing tissue or to accurately modify a radiation dose on the skin's surface." So if you need the bolus it doesn't make it hurt, it's there to protect and they just stick it on with micropore each session (well at least that's what they done with me).
I must confess I didn't use any cream at all during rads. It was only the last 2 or 3 session that I was starting to go a bit sunburnt and now there is a small part of my chest that is flaking slightly so I use E45 just to keep it moist. Not sore at all though. I finished rads end of December so apart from a little bit of dry skin everything is fine.
Take care of yourselves ladies.
Maggie

kitten_mad
Member

Re: Radiotherapy & Aqueous Cream

Hi - I had 25 rads (5 super strength ones at the end) and finished in October. I used absolutely nothing during the treatment and was only given a tube of Aqueous cream on the very last day. Used only baby soap to wash with during treatment. On the last day - the Radiographer said my skin looks amazing and what had I been using. I said baby soap and water as I hadn't been given anything. After a few weeks I started using bio oil on my scars as I had done after my operations - (Amazon is the cheapest place to get this). My skin has never gone red or burnt at all, although I do have pain in the area but it is underneath the skin.
I would thoroughly recommend using Bio Oil on your scars after Rads have finished, it does make them disappear. I have been putting Aqueous cream on during the day and Bio at night. My skin is just as it would be normally (I am 56 by the way). Hope this is of some help.
K M
poemsgalore
Member

Re: Radiotherapy & Aqueous Cream

Hi all
Sassy, I had mx, what is a bolus? it sounds pretty awful (but then isn't everything to do with this disease!!) I have a bit of a seroma. It felt like I had a cushion under my arm at first, now it's shrunk and feels more like a balloon that is deflating. Still feels uncomfortable from time to time though.
JCJ
Member

Re: Radiotherapy & Aqueous Cream

HJU you do carry on 'cooking' for up to 2 weeks after the last 'zapping' - so there is a chance your skin may still split, but if you keep moisturising it and preventing it from rubbing on clothing you may well be OK.

I had a letter, given to me my radiology nurses, to give my GP to tell him what to prescribe, if it did split, so I wouldn't need to go back to the hospital, I threw the letter away, a few weeks ago, as I never needed it!
HJU63
Member

Re: Radiotherapy & Aqueous Cream

Hi,
I have just finished Rads (20) and am surprised/pleased how well my skin has coped as I am very fair skinned. Like TripleAAA I used E45 (lotion) 2-3 times a day and started it 2 weeks before rads. I also used H&B Aloe vera gel on most days after rad number 12. Skin is very red and sensitive but no splits so far.
Everyone tells me that things may change in the 2 weeks after rads stop - might I still get skin problems? Would like to hear experiences and how you coped with this. Thanks

Deb2307
Member

Re: Radiotherapy & Aqueous Cream

Hi Folks, I drop in and follow the thread of this most days when I am having coffee at work. I start rads on 29th Jan, I was given aqueous cream from the hospital and told that I could probably find something else but this was cheap, Oh and if I didnt use it could they have it back for those people who couldnt afford anything else. So been looking in to see what others are trying and finding useful. So thank you all, this kind of information is so valuable, just ashame we have to be in this postition to need it.
broomsticklady
Member

Re: Radiotherapy & Aqueous Cream

Slight aside - if you get skin splitting and need to dress it ask your practice nurse for Mepilex - it's not cheap but oh so good! Kind of self adhesive - deosn't require plaster to hold but so soft and pliable - it made my life bearable for the weeks after rads when my armpit and under boob area were raw and infected.

Nina

TripleAAA
Member

Re: Radiotherapy & Aqueous Cream

I used E45 cream for a few days before starting rads and throughout treatment, applying morning and night, and again through the day as required eg when it felt tight / dry. I also used 99.9% aloe Vera gel to sooth when it itched a bit (the top 'peak') can itch a bit as it is higher on your chest, where it has had more sun exposure apparently. (I also took a Piriton on a couple of days, as recommended by the hospital, and that was brilliant in getting rid if the itch completely.) The radio therapists said not to use aloe Vera alone as it is not moisturising, just soothing, and they couldn't specifically recommend it as not allowed to, but we discussed how it was good for burns, so with a 'sunburnt' boob, I got some! I had a slightly sore boob, and for just a few days a tiny split of the skin , but overall it was not as bad as I thought it would be.
i also found wearing a soft bra, much like a sports bra, helped, or going without. I was recommended to put a silk scarf or a well washed cotton item eg handkerchief, down my bra or vest top, and this helped hugely, as it stops any rubbing.
i didn't have a bolus (presume as I had WLE not a MX). I didn't have a mark on my back either, I asked if my back would be affected and they said no as they were going from the sides across the boob, not through me.
The radio therapists were very helpful in answering qus and monitored the skin, asked me how it was doing etc. I also had a weekly review which was further opportunity to ask about creams etc.
Border_Collies
Member

Re: Radiotherapy & Aqueous Cream

Hi all
I'm still on chemo third out of six but will be following up with radiotherapy. My BCN rang me during my first FEC and told me to start using aqueous cream NOW, which I have been doing, and so have found this thread interesting. I'm using the cold cap and did a lot of research into shampoo and conditioners and found that basically the thing to avoid was Sodium Lauryl Sulphate as this is very harsh on the hair. When you start looking just about every shampoo from the cheapest the the most expensive contains this chemical. I eventually found some in Boots by John Frieder which clearly states Sulphate Free. SLS makes the shampoo lather richly. A sulphate free shampoo is very difficult tof lather and that is obviously why most shampoos contain SLS. If it lathers well it FEELS nice.
I had no idea that the aqueous cream I've been using contains SLS (should have studied the label). Now I don't know what to use. Confused!!!
sassy1
Member

Re: Radiotherapy & Aqueous Cream

Hi
I used aqueous cream and it did help to cool the area when it started to turn red. As soon as the skin split I was prescribed flamazine and was told not to use aqueas anymore. I did not try aloe gel so cant comment on that. They do monitor you closely and as soon as aqueas not suitable any more. I spoke to many ladies who used it and was absolutely fine with it. I did have 25 with a bolus on. Does everyone have a bolus ? It does intensify it on the skin and you could see the redness and splitting was were that had been. Going braless definitely helps. It is amazing though once it starts healing how quick it looks and feels ok again. I also had a deep red v on my BACK from the top of my shoulder. Did anyone else have this ?
sassy1
Member

Re: Radiotherapy & Aqueous Cream

Hi
I used aqueous cream and it did help to cool the area when it started to turn red. As soon as the skin split I was prescribed flamazine and was told not to use aqueas anymore. I did not try aloe gel so cant comment on that. They do monitor you closely and as soon as aqueas not suitable any more. I spoke to many ladies who used it and was absolutely fine with it. I did have 25 with a bolus on. Does everyone have a bolus ? It does intensify it on the skin and you could see the redness and splitting was were that had been. Going braless definitely helps. It is amazing though once it starts healing how quick it looks and feels ok again. I also had a deep red v on my BACK from the top of my shoulder. Did anyone else have this ?
poemsgalore
Member

Re: Radiotherapy & Aqueous Cream

thanks jayne, will ask about that when time comes
Jayne_m
Member

Re: Radiotherapy & Aqueous Cream

My BCN recommended Xclaire cream for rads and I have been to the doc today for a prescription (as it isnt cheap).

I havet started rads yet so can't comment on how well it works but she strongly recommended it.
poemsgalore
Member

Re: Radiotherapy & Aqueous Cream

the sodium lauryl sulphate is a strong detergent and it is that which causes the damage, not just in people with excema, the tests were carried out on non excema sufferers. They used it on a patch of skin and compared thickness of skin layers with the rest of the skin, and it was thinner. No other chemicals or creams were used. I don't have excema and it definitely thinned my skin. I WON'T be putting it on my skin whilst having radiotherapy.
JCJ
Member

Re: Radiotherapy & Aqueous Cream

The research shows that the aqueous cream increases sensitivity to CHEMICALS - this is not an issue with rads - unless you are putting other creams on. Obviously, it IS an issue for eczema sufferers because it is often chemicals that make the eczema flare up.

"There is evidence to suggest that aloe vera can actually delay the repair of damaged skin."

I was advised by BCN to use aqueous cream before, during and for 3 weeks after rads, and only to buy aloe vera if I needed it. I didn't. My skin stayed intact, the aqueous cream helped to cool it, and staying braless as much as possible. The skin was just a little red in the week to 10 days following the last treatment. Had my skin been damaged, I would have been prescribed something else to aid the healing. On the day of the last treatment, I was given a letter to give my GP if my skin broke, telling him what to prescribe. I didn't need it.

I'm not sure, but 'mosaiclife' seems to be a website devoted solely to flogging their own products, specifically to vulnerable cancer patients. I'd like to see their 'clinical proof', before I touched any of the (probably very expensive)products with a bargepole.

Just because something is old fashioned does NOT make it unsuitable. I prefer 'tried and tested'. Just because something has a hard selling website doesn't make it a good product! I''m going to stick to following advice from the specialists in my medical team.
poemsgalore
Member

Re: Radiotherapy & Aqueous Cream

In 2010, the results of a study carried out by Professor Richard Guy and his team at the University of Bath were published in the British Journal of Dermatology. Here is a link to results of the study, http://www.eczema.org/aqeous . I only use it as a soap replacement now, as the skin on my shins went like paper when I used it as a moisturiser. Notice they have left the 'u' out of aqueous in link. Also notice that tests were done on non - excema sufferers.
Jo_BCC
Member

Re: Radiotherapy & Aqueous Cream

Posted on behalf of new user Karen - Jo, Facilitator

Aqueous cream...NO..NO!...ok for mild reactions when all you need is a bit of moisturising, but it's proved not too work for red, itchy and sore skin. Heres a really good article which tells it how it is... http://mosaiclife.co.uk/news/aqueous-cream-is-not-effective-for-radiatio... ...aqueous cream is such an old fashioned way of treating skin problems of chemo or radiotherapy....come on folks let's move on with improved medical knowledge...right off the soap box now K x

madgehew
Member

Re: Radiotherapy & Aqueous Cream

I had my rads (20 of them) at The Western in Edinburgh and their advice is not to use anything until therapy is complete. I never used any cream until they gave me the aqueous cream on the last day and I have had very little reaction in my skin - a little rough and itchy now but during the treatment - nothing.

Kirsty, I drove myself there each day - roughly 30min drive there and back and I felt absolutely fine, in fact I quite liked having something constructive to do during that time. I must say though, I was really tired in the week following completion of treatment - bit better this week.

I have been lucky in that my employer has been very supportive and so I have not had to work since this whole whirlwind of BC began in August
I hope all goes well for you

Madge

Kirsty16
Member

Re: Radiotherapy & Aqueous Cream

Hello

Update - we all get different advice dont we ? Found one hospital, Royal Free that said Aloe Vera was OK to use , or the good old Aqueous Cream, but last week my hospital said NO to anything other than the Aqueous - seems this is because they are unsure what ingredients might be in any other product. even 99% Aloe Vera might have something else added. I think this is extreme caution on part of the radiologists. But I've decided to go with the advice here, partly cos I sunburn easily , being fair skinned adn if I have trouble at least I've followed their advice - Wimp i am !!

Had bought H & B Aloe vera gel though , and it is great for the hands, so another plus. another discovery.

Getting nervous about first treatment, will I feel OK immediately after ? planning to go on my own - good shops near Onc Centre I havent been to before, retail therapy for sure ! Have become a bit reclusive and house bound this summer, will be free once I feel brain has recovered from chemo to drive again. This week I think, looking forward to independence again - What an eye opener this has been, being stuck at home must be so debilitating for people with long term conditions.

saffronseed
Member

Re: Radiotherapy & Aqueous Cream

I have recently finished RADS (end Sept) and have suffered with terrible burning, redness and soreness of my chest, neck and underarm. I used Aqueous Cream throughout (as advised) I also bought Aloe Vera to sooth it.(which didn't help either)

I then was advised to get some Hydrortisone cream from the chemist when my skin was red and looked like prickly heat rash - and it itched like mad. Then when it started oozing and was moist and very sore and painful I was advised to to get some Flamazine (on prescription). I used Flamazine and this has worked. Its dried up the skin and made it turn a nice brown colour and already new skin in growing underneath.

I think we are all different and Aqueous cream is probably fine for most people and I agree it wouldn't be recommended if it wasn't But then for me even Aloe Vera didn't help either.

My skin held up nicely until a week after RADS finished then it got redder and more sore each day. (I usually have good skin, I go brown easily and never never burn) I was very surprised that this happened to me - but I had a 'bolus' (a wax covering) whilst having RADS and I gather this makes the treatment more intense.

What really helped me was a week in Cyprus and being able to not wear a bra and being able to let the air get to it (no sun obviously) so fresh air is good too.
x

CheshireCheese
Member

Re: Radiotherapy & Aqueous Cream

Hi Kirsty
I'll second that recommendation from Marli to go without a bra whenever possible during treatment, and afterwards. I found that the heat in my breast built up more inside a bra and cooled down better without. To me the effect of the rads seemed a bit like cooking a microwave meal, and it carries on cooking for a while after the "ping"! It's only now returning to normal temperature, 3 weeks after ending rads.
Sarah x

marli
Member

Re: Radiotherapy & Aqueous Cream

Hi Kirsty - as you can see most ladies have used aqueous cream and found no problems. I too used it before and during 20 rads and only had slight reddening and a feeling of sunburn. Slapped it on but did not rub it in much but covered it with a white cotton hankie to protect clothes. Although well endowed (36FF) did not wear a bra , except for special occasions , wearing only cotton vests. This prevented rubbing and breaking of skin. Hope you feel a little less confused. Good luck. Marli

CheshireCheese
Member

Re: Radiotherapy & Aqueous Cream

Hi All
I used aqueous cream before and during rads and I'm still using it 2 or 3 times a day, 3 weeks after finishing rads, to keep my skin from drying out. Had no blistering or peeling or any of that, just slight reddening like a light sunburn. Tried using aloe vera but found it wasn't as soothing when my skin felt a bit warm.
That BBC article was specific to people with eczema, which is an allergic type reaction to an irritant - perhaps not relevant to rads? Christie hospital recommended aqueous cream, and they usually know what they're doing with cancer patients.
Sarah x

Bboonie
Member

Re: Radiotherapy & Aqueous Cream

Hi
I used aqueous cream and had 25 rads, no problems.

Marian

Harebell
Member

Re: Radiotherapy & Aqueous Cream

Hi
I discovered a very interesting research paper (the trial was done in France but is in English and reported in the American Society of Clinical Oncology and elsewhere)about caring for skin during radiotherapy for those who had been operated on for breast cancer. Here is a link to the article: http://www.jcojournal.org/cgi/reprint/22/8/1447.pdf
It recommended Calendula ointment. I used this straight after radiotherapy every day and again in the evenings. You are not supposed to put anything on your skin before radiotherapy it should be clean therefore i found it best to shower in the mornings to remove the ointment. My skin got a bit red in places, but no worse than that. I have very fair skin and the breast care nurse was amazed at how well it looked at the end of the rads and asked for the details.
When I saw the doctors during the last week of rads (three weeks ago) they said that people who looked after their skin throughout had a better outcome - I was not told about this before but it would be helpful if they did. Hope this helps.
Harebell

miscally
Member

Re: Radiotherapy & Aqueous Cream

I have just come home from my planning session with a tube of Aqueous cream to use 'for two days before and during radiotherapy'. I am sure it wouldn't be given to us if it didn't help - nothing would be even cheaper! I am going to use it as advised and see how it goes.

Kirsty16
Member

Re: Radiotherapy & Aqueous Cream

hi I'm about to undergo rads and feel totally confused about this.

i guess till someone does a study to examine effect of aqueous cream compared to other products used BEFORE AND DURING RADIOTHERAPY , that no one will come out and say one way or the other.

They can only look to evidence from those who have used , and as we know from this site, many have used it to good effect. As to those who had bad effects - I suppose we dont know that it was the Aqueous that caused or contributed to it .

Maybe those who had no problems using Aqueous would not have had problems whatever they used.

Remain - Confused and very unsure what to do.

Kirsty

Guest
Not applicable

Re: Radiotherapy & Aqueous Cream

Me too, I slapped loads on and brought a massive pot of boots own brand,very cheap.I had just a little redness towards the end of 33 rads.

Melxx

jacqui37
Member

Re: Radiotherapy & Aqueous Cream

Me too, only aqueous as that is what I was advised, and no problems, just some slight reddening.

Jacqui

linky
Member

Re: Radiotherapy & Aqueous Cream

Same here. I used only Aqueous and no probs

Linky

topsymo
Member

Re: Radiotherapy & Aqueous Cream

I used ONLY aqueous cream and NO reddening of my skin at all!

Gretchen
Member

Radiotherapy & Aqueous Cream

I have just come across thin on the bbc website and thought it may be of interest to ladies about to undergo rads

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-11564662

I am very against creams, lotions and potions but especially these very simple cheap ones that have nothing by sls, mineral oils and parabens. I used an organic pure aloe vera gel and had only a reddening of the skin during rads.

My onc told me that they recommend aqueous cream because it is cheap