When undergoing radiation therapy we often counsel our patients to use various skin moisturizing products, such as creams and lotions, 3-4 times per day, to help minimize the redness, peeling and blistering that may develop during a course of treatment. Examples include:
- Aloe vera
Botanical Radiation Protection Skin Spray
I have used each of these for many years, but find that patients can get an even better reduction in the severity of their skin reaction (called “radiation dermatitis”) with the following product that they can make at home. It’s comprised of 3 potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant botanical ingredients:
- Beta-sitosterol is a sterol ester, found in fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds
- Boswellia serrata (also known as Indian frankincense) is an herbal extract taken from the Boswellia serrata tree
- EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) is type of a polyphenol extract from green tea (Camellia sinensis)
Each of these 3 plant compounds has been shown in clinical studies to reduce the severity of radiation dermatitis when applied to the skin during radiation therapy through their anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antioxidant properties.
- Beta-sitosterol study
- Boswellia study
- EGCG study
Many patients ask if using these products will reduce the effectiveness of radiation therapy. There are no data suggesting that antioxidants reduce the effectiveness of radiation therapy on tumors. They do, however, protect normal tissues from radiation damage. Learn more here.
How You Use It:
Add the contents of 2 capsules of each supplement into a small (3 ounce) spray bottle with saline or filtered water. Shake before each use and keep it in the refrigerator when not in use. Make a new batch every 24 hours, as the compounds break down and diminish in their efficacy.
Generously spray the solution on all areas of radiated skin, 4-times per day. Your skin should be dry before applying the spray and let it air dry after it has been applied. Once the skin is dry, you can then apply any other radiation skin moisturizing creams or lotions.
Dr. Lawenda’s Recommendations
While I use this for my patients during radiation therapy, this can also be used for anyone who plans to be in the sun as an added protection to reduce UV damage and inflammation (apply to skin, let dry and then apply your sun block). It can also be used after sun exposure or for sunburns.
If you are interested in Dr. Lawenda’s recommendations on his favorite 3 high quality botanical supplements to use in your spray, send an email request (to: firstname.lastname@example.org) and he will send you the list. When you create a free account with Wellevate, you get a 10% discount on any supplements purchased.