What is Radiation Dermatitis or Shingles Pain? Radiation burn or Radiation Dermatitis is a common side effect of external beam radiation therapy to treat some form of cancer. Radiation can make skin sore, peel, itch or turn red. Shingles pain is caused when person suffers from shingles.
What formulations are available commercially to treat Radiation Dermatitis and Shingles Pain? Commercially available formulations include emollient creams (which is often ineffective) or corticosteroids which cause dermal atrophy and other adverse effects). These products are usually ineffective or are not available or prove objectionable to patient (e.g. steroids can only be applied if skin is intact, peeled or sore skin might not be suitable to corticosteroid application). Oral pain medications are also available, but they come with several unwanted side effects like GERD and increased BP.
What compounded formulations are available to help with Radiation burns or Shingles Pain? Studies have shown that Melatonin 0.5%/Lidocaine 5% Cream when applied as directed throughout prescribed course of radiation therapy and continued its use for 3 weeks after last radiation therapy. Melatonin is a highly lipophilic hormone produced primarily by the pineal gland. Melatonin is safe and effective in radiation dermatitis and shingles pain. Melatonin has been shown to
- Easily penetrate skin and exert minimal side effects when applied topically
- Exert various immunologic effects like increasing progenitor cells for granulocyte, natural killer cells and CD4+ T cells and inhibit production of CD8+ T Cells.
- Prevent Skin aging because it is a potent antioxidant.
- Increase vulnerability for tumor cells to effects of radiation.
- Inhibit Tumor Angiogenesis.
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