Traditionally, total skin electron patients remove all clothing for treatment. It is generally assumed that this is best for the treatment of superficial skin lesions out of concern clothing may significantly perturb dose. We investigate the dosimetric effect of patient gowns and determine the necessity of treating patients naked. Using GAFCHROMIC EBT2 film, dose to a cylindrical phantom was measured with cloth, paper, and tri-layer cloth gowns, compared to no covering. A 6 MeV electron beam with spoiler accessory was used at Symbol meters source-to-skin distance. The gantry was angled at 248° and 292°. The phantom was rotated at -60°, 0°, and 60° relative to the beam's central axis, simulating the Stanford technique. This was also repeated for films sandwiched between the phantom's discs. Using a Markus chamber, the effect of air gaps of 0 to 5 cm in cloth and paper gowns was measured. The water-equivalent attenuation of the gowns was determined through transmission studies. Compared to no covering, films placed on the phantom surface revealed an average increase of 0.8% in dose for cloth, 1.8% for tri-layered cloth, and 0.7% for paper. Films sandwiched within the phantom showed only slight shift of the percent depth-dose curves. Markus chamber readings revealed 1.4% for tri-layered cloth, and Symbol for single layer cloth or paper. Air gaps appeared to have a minimal effect. Transmission measurements found that one layer of cloth is equal to 0.2 mm of solid water. Cloth and paper gowns appear to slightly increase the dose to the skin, but will not introduce any significant dose perturbation (Symbol). Gowns having folds and extra layers will have a small additional perturbation (Symbol). To minimize perturbation, one should smooth out any folds or remove any pockets that form extra layers on the gown.
PACS number: 87.53.Bn