Randomized, prospective assessment of moisturizer efficacy for the treatment of radiation dermatitis following radiotherapy after breast-conserving surgery

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Abstract

Objective

The effect of heparinoid moisturizer use after acute skin damage for patients receiving whole-breast radiotherapy after lumpectomy is understudied.

Methods

A total of 30 patients were randomly assigned to receive heparinoid moisturizer (Group M), and 32 patients comprised the control group (Group C). Patients in Group M were instructed to apply heparinoid moisturizer from 2 weeks following whole-breast radiotherapy, and to continue to use the moisturizer until 3 months after completion of whole-breast radiotherapy. Group C patients were instructed to not apply any topical moisturizer during the study period. The relative ratio of skin water content ratio (RWCR(t)= (It /Nt)/(I0/N0)) between irradiated and non-irradiated field was calculated. Signs and symptoms were also assessed. The primary endpoint was the difference in relative ratio of skin water content ratio between 2 and 4 weeks following whole-breast radiotherapy.

Results

In Group C, relative ratio of skin water content ratio dropped to 0.80 ± 0.15 at 2 weeks and maintained the low level at 4 weeks following whole-breast radiotherapy. Similarly, in Group M, relative ratio of skin water content ratio dropped to 0.81 ± 0.19 at 2 weeks (prior to application), however, it returned to baseline level (1.05 ± 0.23) at 4 weeks (2 weeks after application). The arithmetic difference of relative ratio of skin water content ratio in Group M was 0.24 ± 0.23 and was significantly larger than in Group C (0.06 ± 0.15; P < 0.01). Skin dryness and desquamation were less severe in Group M.

Conclusions

The application of heparinoid moisturizer for 2 weeks following whole-breast radiotherapy significantly increased water content and helped improve skin dryness and desquamation compared with no use of moisturizer.

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