Introduction: Radiotherapy has a pivotal role in the fight against cancer. However 85% of patients, who undergo radiotherapy, will face moderate to severe skin reactions, for the treatment of which various local products, available in the market, are used.
Aim: The aim of this systematic literature review was to investigate the prevention and treatment of these skin lesions induced by radiation.
Methods: For this purpose 34 articles were collected concerning materials, approved by the FDA, for the prevention and treatment of skin damage due to radiation, preclinical factors tested in animal models, factors involved in the prevention and treatment of moist desquamation and unauthorized agents or with little information about them.
Results: According to the study results, the moisturizing and hydrophilic creams, herbal preparations, gels based on hyaluronic acid, and Vitamin E, heparinoid creams and formulations based on oils appear to have a positive effect in preventing dermatitis as well as in providing symptom relief. Patches are suitable for the case of moist desquamation. Vasculotide, agent EUK-207, agent RTA 408, agent ALDH2 and the agent Celecoxib are still in the preclinical stage but may become future therapeutic targets. Conclusion: Skin reactions due to radiation remain a significant problem for patients undergoing radical treatment. However, thanks to the multitude of formulations available in the market and several clinical trials it is possible that early prevention and treatment for actinic dermatitis could be achieved. In conclusion, it is crucial that health professionals are aware of the formulations indicated and contraindicated in case of skin reactions induced by radiation and adjust the treatment for the prevention and management of skin reactions in patients receiving radiation therapy.
Keywords: Skin lesions, radiation, prevention, treatment.