Skip to content


    Exciting News for WebMD Members!

    We've been busy behind the scenes building new message boards for you. You'll have new and easier ways to find messages, connect with others, and share your stories.

    And, this will all be available on your smartphone or other mobile device!

    What Do You Need to Do?

    The message board you're used to will be closing in the coming weeks. While many of your boards will be making the move to our new home, your posts will not. Want to keep a discussion going? Save posts you want to continue (this includes your member profile story), so that you can re-post them in the new message boards.

    Keep an eye here and on your email inbox, we'll be back in touch soon to give you all the information you need!

    Yours in health,
    WebMD Message Boards Management

    Radiation side effects
    monab53 posted:
    I completed radiation in September 2012. I still have problems with itching from waist up. Has anyone else had similar problems or am I just crazy?? I have had no problems with the breast radiation area other than the same itching.
    Any thing one has to share would be helpful..
    judyfams responded:
    I did not have that problem.
    Have you tried using cortisone cream to stop the itching? You might need the Rx cortisone cream as it is more concentrated than the OTC cortisone cream. Ask you radiation oncologist for a prescription.
    Have you tried using fragrance free laundry detergent? The skin may be sensitive as a result of the radiation and the fragrances in the detergent could be irritating the area.
    I would alsorecommend that you speak to your radiation oncologist about this, because if it is not related to the radiation then you might want to speak to a dermatologist or an allergist.
    Please let us know what you find out as your information might be able to help others who have this problem.
    Good luck,
    sadblossom responded:
    Oh my, I had a SEVERE problem with the itching during and after I had my rad treatments, I am talking MAJOR itching. There has never even been a female yeast infection that could have compared to the horrible itch I endured. At one time I listed some helpful hints in the 'Tips' section to the right of your screen but in case they have been removed or can not be found I will list them again.....

    Stay cool as possible at all times. Apply ice packs as needed,you get so much relief from the icepacks. Place them anywhere you itch. The colder/coler you stay the less you will itch.

    Go braless and wear soft cotton t shirts and/or even night shirts at home,anything that does not rub or cause friction. Wear loose thin clothing.

    Apply ordinary kitchen cooking corn starch straight from the box like it were bath powder to all areas that itch. There is a line of routine that worked best for me.............apply ice packs, when ice melted apply corn starch then reapply ice packs.Store corn starch in the freezer for added cool comfort.

    Do NOT bathe/shower in very warm water. The cooler the better.Do NOT rub skin while bathing. Just blot on lightly sudsy water and rinse off well with clear water. Blot dry DO NOT RUB OR SCRATCH. If you MUST touch that area and can not resist just apply a bit of light pressure but do not scratch or rub.That only makes it worse.Oh yes, use only a very mild bath soap.I used plain Ivory until it stopped.
    Ask your radiation therapyst for cortizone creme. Or get it at the pharmacy or Walmart. 2% is fine but very importantly FOLLOW DIRECTIONS and do not use for a prolonged period of time. You absorb cort creme and to much can make you ill.Thru my process I used about 2 tubes.
    Aloe jel helps also. Place the Aloe jel in the freezer until extremely cold then apply to skin. You can also use the jel from an Aloe Vera plant.

    My entire process many times a day was as follows..........Cort creme......then cold corn starch.......then ice packs.........and repeated corn starch and ice packs as needed day and night.
    Cool bathes anytime. Even cold wet towels on the itching area brings some relief.

    I also took Xanax so I could sleep.
    Carry the cort. creme, cornstarch and ice packs everywhere you go.
    Avoid sunlight or any kind of heat on affected areas.
    This is all that gave me any relief at all. And belive it or not, when it was at it's worst I kept telling myself it would stop sooner or later and it does. I itched for a month or two afterwards off and on.

    Hope this helps. I feel for you but WILL get better!

    supergrangran replied to sadblossom's response:
    I also had and still have itching which became some kind of skin problem giving me small itchy lumps which have been checked out. The advice given is under no circumstances scratch! wear only natural non sweating fabrics and air the area before you dress to make sure that it is dry when you wash etc.

    I found this advice does help and when it is really bad take anti histamine

    Lots of love
    Christine x

    Helpful Tips

    How to more easily read discussions
    Exchanges provide a more dynamic way to keep up with ongoing discussions. But If you're finding how discussions and responses are ... More
    Was this Helpful?
    28 of 47 found this helpful

    Related Drug Reviews

    • Drug Name User Reviews

    Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

    For more information, visit the Duke Health Breast Cancer Center