Navigating Radiation Treatment with Roccoco

Navigating Radiation Treatment with Roccoco

Posted by Jacine Greenwood on

More than 50% of cancer patients will receive some form of radiation treatment during their management of cancer.  The side effects of this are generally erythema, edema, itching, pigmentation and dryness.

First Stage Skin Symptoms
Initially it's usually erythema that presents, which literally looks like there's sunburn. The erythema is usually followed by either dryness or wetness depending on the level of radiation that they have received.

Patients can also get intensely itchy, especially when their  skin barrier is compromised.   This going to present another problem with potential allergic reactions.  Patients undergoing radiation therapy also get an increase in melanin in the basal layer.  This is a protective mechanism of the skin. 

Second Stage Skin Symptoms
Once the actual redness and erythema has subsided, what they are left with then is an area of brown pigmentation.  The amount of melanin that is deposited into the skin varies, but it is a protective mechanism.  Sweat and sebaceous glands are also damaged during radiation treatment.


Gray - The Scale of Radiation

The scale or the amount of radiation therapy used is called a "Gray".   Anyone who has 40 or less gray, as in radiation therapy treatment, usually their skin will be dry when it's in the healing phase and will become itchy for anything above 40.  The skin actually becomes like a wet tissue, resulting in the formation of blisters, bullets and the skin can come off in sheets.


How Do We Treat With Roccoco?

The skin should be cleansed with surfactants that don't interact with the skin barrier.   What they should be using is Hibiscus Milk Cleanser, Ruby Crystal or Soothing Cleansing Oil.

Hibiscus Milk Cleanser

Roccoco Botanicals Hibiscus Milk Cleanser contains phosphatidylcholine in it as part of its emulsifying system. This actually helps to repair the skin and to assist with the lipid bilayer being repaired and keeping moisture in the skin. It's also anti inflammatory.  Hibiscus Milk Cleanser also reduces histamine by 70% which aids in preventing scratching and tearing of the delicate skin trying to re-epithelialise.  It also possesses anaesthetic properties and increases hydration preventing TEWL by 50% within just one hour.


Ruby Crystal Cleanser

Roccoco Botanicals Ruby Crystal cleanser contains sugar molecules that aid hydration.  It also contains oats which contain 5 types of ceramides that allow the skin to rapidly repair and heal.  It accelerates healing of the skin allowing it to recover quickly before the skin is exposed to the next lot of radiation treatment.  It contains squalane which is a natural plant cholesterol that helps with preventing TEWL and correcting the skin barrier.


Soothing Cleansing Oil
The Soothing Cleansing Oil has really high omega three oils in it.   Even though it's got high omega 3 oils in it they are only acting in an anti inflammatory capacity because the skin is so compromised from the radiation it can not convert them or metabolise them in the skin.  It doesn't have that ability because of the damage that has happened from the radiation therapy.  So the use of soothing cleansing oil is just purely from an anti inflammatory and soothing perspective.


Hydrating Essence

This is a powerhourse for rapid repair of the skin barrier.  It is safe to use even on fragile and damaged skin.  Hydrating essence increases fillagrin, ceramides and cholesterol in the skin, helping to lock in moisture.  The great thing is you can just spray and let it absorb if the skin is ultra fragile.  This can be used as many times as needed throughout the day.


Intense CPR

Intense CPR contains cholesterol in there and cholesterol will help to stabilize the lipid bilayer.  It is also the quickest way to repair the skin.  It helps to reduce transepidermal water loss and it helps to repair the skin. This product outperforms petrolatum for preventing TEWL but it is also vapour permeable, which means it doesn't occlude the skin.  It is fantastic for radiation because they actually need cosmetic actives that actually stop the moisture loss from occurring in the first instance, forming almost like a film on the skin but not a suffocating film. If you just use vegetable oils and high omega three oils, like I said they cannot metabolize and transfer those lipids in the skin to something that's usable.  This allows the skin adequate time to heal until the skin can start metabolising lipids again.

Intense CPR also contains a powerful licorice in it which is highly anti-inflammatory.  The licorice also prevents the pigmentation.  As we said before they actually get an increase the melanin deposited in the skin. So this is actually going to help prevent this and prevent any further pigmentation that they're going to get as a result of it.

Rescue Balm 

Your relief from itchiness.  This product acts like a steroid and suppresses inflammation and itching.  This is a great add in if itching is getting out of control.  It suppresses major inflammatory pathways of inflammation.  It binds the basement membrane to the dermis which prevents the skin coming off in sheets.

Rescue balm has an Ayurvedic herb called Ashwagandha in it.  It has been shown in clinical studies to outperforms steroids with regards to its powerful anti inflammatory action.  It is strongly antihistamine and helps prevent scatching of the skin.  It contains skin idential ceramides that the skin can metabolise immediately alleviating inflammation and repairing the skin.


Calm Protect Revive (CPR)

CPR also has similar ingredients to the intense CPR but it does not have that licorice derivative in it at all. So it won't help so much with the pigmentation. It also doesn't necessarily help with the itching as intense CPR does. CPR has a sugar molecule in it that binds to the keratin in the skin.   This gives sustained hydration allowing it to remain on the skin until natural desquamation occurs.

This product is crucial for preventing breakdown of the skin during radiation treatment.  It allows the skin to maintain the barrier after intensives such as Intense CPR and Rescue Balm are used. 

Peptide Serum

Peptide Serum is great for preventing trans epidermal water loss because it forms a vapor permeable film on the skin. It allows the skin to heal.  This is the reason most medical dressings are silicone based for this reason. So they allow it to to to heal properly, prevent the transepidermal water loss and allow allow the skin to just regenerate as it should. 


Radiation therapy is a challenging and emotional time for patients, but alleviating the skin challenges can assist them with their emotional state during this time.

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