Radiation burn: treatment, photo, ointment, first aid, degree, form

August 12, 2017 15:31 | Burns

Radiation burn appears under the influence of radiation therapy and it is very similar to sunburn in manifestations.The severity and severity of the lesion is affected by the strength of ion radiation, how often such procedures and the patient's condition are carried out.

The danger of getting deep burns is especially great with neutron, X-ray and gamma radiation.The first two forms of radiation burn are usually provoked by low-energy beta-particles, since they are not capable of penetrating deeply into tissues.Today we will consider first aid for radiation burns of the skin, treatment after them, therapy in hospital, and useful recommendations will also be given.

Features of injury

Great risk of burns if a person quickly burns in the sun.In such cases, even exposure to low intensity leads to trauma to the skin.People with diabetes mellitus or low immunity suffer a particularly difficult procedure.

Burns after radiotherapy( photo)

Burns after radiation therapy(

Classification of radiation burns

Radiation burn can be d

ivided into 4 stages according to the severity of the symptoms:

  1. Early reaction. Usually it is erythema, which appears after several days, and sometimes even hours after injury.
  2. The second stage of the takes place secretly.It lasts up to several weeks.The sooner there are any signs of injury, the more dangerous the burn.In the most severe injuries, the stage begins several hours later.
  3. Acute inflammation of is the third stage in which ulcers, external injuries and blisters occur.Duration of the flow is determined individually, sometimes inflammation takes place only after a few months.
  4. Recovery of .

Burns of this form have a traditional subdivision into 4 types:

  • 1 form of burn is easily tolerated even by patients with weakened immunity.Irradiation in this case is no more than 1200 rad.All symptoms appear only after a couple of weeks.
  • 2 form differs by the presence of edema, which sometimes spreads over a large area.The dose of irradiation is up to 2000 rad.The latent period can also last 2 weeks, but it takes a longer time to restore the burn to this severity.
  • With 3, forms ulcers and not too deep and extensive necrotic tissue areas.The latent period is short, not more than 3 days.
  • With , the 4th degree of breaks the upper skin layer and muscles, down to charring.The most dangerous stage.

The reasons for the occurrence of radiation burns to the eyes, mucous membranes and other parts of the body are described below.

Causes of

The skin that is unstable to damage is considered to be the main cause of injury.Under the influence of radiotherapy, it becomes particularly sensitive.

The cause of the injury may be radioactive isotopes or accidents at nuclear power plants.In such cases, the burn is also accompanied by signs of radiation sickness.

For the symptoms that are typical for radiation burns, read below.


For convenience, the symptoms are also subdivided according to the degrees of radiation burn.

1 and 2 degrees

So, for the easiest, the first form, burning, itching, peeling, swelling are characteristic.Sometimes there is hair loss in the place of injury, as well as pigmentation.

The second degree has many more symptoms:

  • nausea,
  • erythema,
  • headache,
  • small blisters,
  • weakness,
  • pain.

Blisters gradually merge, forming larger ones.After their self-opening, pain can increase, the temperature becomes higher.Gradually epithelization occurs, but the skin in the area of ​​damage remains thinned, with a noticeable vascular network.

3 and 4 degrees

3 degree very quickly gives the first symptoms.It is accompanied by such signs:

  • painful erythema,
  • bleeding in the blisters,
  • edema,
  • decrease in sensitivity,
  • ulcers,
  • high leukocytosis,
  • foci of necrosis,
  • fever.

Scars gradually form.In an unfavorable course, they become ulcers that risk developing into cancerous lesions.Due to the death of the subcutaneous layer, the risk of vein thrombosis is very high.

With the fourth form of radiation burn, the skin on the wound surface is not crimson, but often black.It is good to see the boundary of dead tissue.


Burns after radiation therapy With certain degrees of burn, erythema occurs almost immediately, it passes with time.The doctor pays special attention to this sign during the examination.Additionally, he interrogates the victim to determine the symptoms and circumstances of the burn.If radiotherapy was carried out, data from an individual medical record is taken, which gives information about the strength of ion radiation, periods of irradiation and general health.

After injury, there is a high probability of abnormalities in the endocrine or cardiovascular sphere.To identify such abnormalities, it is possible to conduct a number of specific studies( MRI, ECG, etc.), and sometimes a consultation of the relevant specialists is required.

About therapy, treatment of radiation burn 1, 2, 3, 4 degrees read below.

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Therapeutic way

The first two degrees of burns do not pose a serious danger to the victim, they pass gradually on their own.With competent therapy, this happens more quickly, and surgical treatment is not used at all.

  • Throughout the treatment, the patient must comply with rational nutrition, drink abundantly.
  • Active agents are used to help the healing of the skin, especially with sea buckthorn and aloe.
  • Individually select and other ointments for radiation burns.From the action should be directed not only to the improvement of skin regeneration, but also to reduce burning, flushing, itching.

All these measures help stabilize the overall health of the victim.

On what to treat and how to choose therapy for radiation burns, we will tell below.

By medicamentous method

Injured area is regularly bandaged by wetting the bandage in an antiseptic solution.If infection of the wound does occur, antibiotics and sulfonamide drugs are individually prescribed.Antihistamines and even hormones are selected with persistent edema, and with severe pain, analgesics are used.The course of vitamin therapy with radiation burn must be carried out necessarily.

Sometimes conservative therapy does not work and then resort to prompt intervention.The need for a surgical method of treatment can occur even at the 2nd degree of a burn.


Surgical treatment is the excision of the necrosis site.Such intervention can be planned for a different period of time, depending on the condition of the victim himself.

Prevention of disease

Burns after radiation therapy No special preventive measures to prevent radiation burn.

  • It is important for the treating doctor to observe the individual characteristics of the body when calculating the dosage of ionizing radiation.
  • The irradiation sites themselves should be lubricated regularly with ointments with a healing effect.Do this immediately before the procedure, and it is best to apply medication at night.


The condition of the victim can be exacerbated by complications caused not so much by a burn as by radiation itself.However, the body after the injury gets a lot of stress, which leads to an even worse deterioration of well-being.The most important complications are the risk of infection of the injury and the development of bleeding.

With deep burns, the state of health is very difficult, and complications can affect a wide variety of organs, depending on the area of ​​the body where the irradiation was carried out.


Very favorable is the prognosis for the first two stages of a radiation burn.With severe lesions, when the radiation affects deep layers of the skin and muscles, the prognosis is less favorable. Much depends in this case on the treatment, the general condition of the victim and other individual factors.

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