Radiodermatitis is a skin disease that manifests itself by the presence of more or less important lesions. It is caused by ionizing radiation carried on the body, particularly in the case of certain cancer treatments. Acute radiodermatitis occurs as an immediate effect of exposure to radiation and appears within days of exposure. Chronic radiodermatitis can occur long after exposure, sometimes even years later. Thus, according to medical studies, more than 80% of children undergoing radiation for an angioma suffer from skin dystrophy by the time they reach adulthood.
Acute radiodermatitis is manifested by rashes of varying severity. Accompanied by oedemas and pruritus, an erythema appears a few days after the exposure to radiation. If radiation treatment over 40 Gy is pursued, the erythema worsens by peeling the skin through ulcers and bubbles, in which case the condition is referred to as exudative radiodermatitis. In extreme cases, muscles and bones are laid bare by skin lesions, it is called acute radionecrosis. The effects of chronic radiodermatitis are radiation-induced dystrophies that come in several forms such as xerosis cutis or skin atrophy. One should also be careful in regard to chronic radiation keratosis or fibrosis, as this condition may lead to the development of cancer such as skin sclerosis. Necrotic ulcers appear on the ears, scalp or chest wall.
Homoeopathy provides several remedies that may be taken as a form of prevention against the effects of radiation, notably in case of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. The recommended dose consists of 5 granules per intake. During radiotherapy, a daily intake of Radium bromatum 15 CH is prescribed every night before bedtime. To relieve redness and stinging sensations, the two recommended remedies are Apis mellifica 5 CH and Belladonna 9 CH, both of which should be systematically taken right before and right after a sesssion a radiotherapy session, with up to 6 daily intakes if deemed necessary. There also are some homoeopathic remedies that may be used to effectively reduce the side effects of chemotherapy. In addition, Nux vomica may be taken to fight off feelings of nausea, and Lycopodium against digestive disorders. Finally, it is strongly advised to take Gelsemium and Ignatia to relieve angst and anxiety resulting from chemotherapy.
It is particularly recommended to consult a doctor when radiodermatitis shows signs of infection. A physician should also be promptly notified in case of dyspnea or breathing difficulties. Hospitalization may even be required in case of chest pain, low blood pressure and an acceleration of the pulse. In order to be able to respond quickly, persons that are subjected to radiation exposure, such as patients undergoing chemotherapy, must remain vigilant to the symptoms experienced and should mention any abnormality to their doctor.
Good to know: In order to resort to homoeopathy to treat radiodermatitis, every patient will need to be examined and prescribed a tailored treatment that will take that person’s specific symptoms into account. Homoeopathy, thanks to its gentle action, can help relieve the patient by eliminating these symptoms without attacking the patient’s body, as it is already weakened by the radiation.