Today, I completed my 9th of 36 session of “radiation therapy.” Seriously. They call it therapy. I have 27 treatments to go. Treatment. Also not the right word.
In the realm of too-much-information, here are some intimate details about my boob. Radiation is not a boobs’ friend. My nipple and areola are swollen, red, hot and sore. I have tried several remedies for relief and in today’s video I give a candid review of three radiation relief creams. You will be quite surprised when you see which is my favorite.
CAUTION: Do not use any product on your breast or armpit in the three hours prior to your radiation therapy. The radiation could react with the cream and that’s not good. Also, you should not shave your armpits until you have completed all your treatments.
Aquaphor Healing Ointment by Eucerin Review
When she saw my bright red swollen breast, Shanta, one of my radiation techs suggested I use Aquaphor Healing Ointment by Eucerin and gave me a few samples. Aquaphor is very thick, with a petroleum jelly consistency. It leaves a layer of “grease” on your skin so you can only use it at night.
Although several women in my online breast cancer support group swear by Aquaphor, I personally did not like it for use on my breast.
Plus, I did a little research and discovered that Aquaphor is 41% petrolatum. Petrolatum is petroleum jelly, which comes from petroleum, you know, crude oil, the black sticky stuff that comes out of the ground and is then turned into gasoline and water bottles.
I wouldn’t put gasoline or water bottles on my skin, so why would I want to put petrolatum on the area of my breast that was designed (or evolved, either way you look at it, the point is the same) to feed babies? Oh crap, here I go, better put that darn soap box in the attic or I might get myself into trouble. My days of a being a militant breastfeeding mom are long over. Boobs will be boobs.
Now that that’s settled. Let’s try something else!
Miaderm Radiation Relief Review
The radiation oncology nurse suggested I try Miaderm Radiation Relief and again gave me some samples with instructions to use it three times per day. The cream is absorbed by your skin very quickly and it is not at all greasy. I liked it, so I went ahead and purchased a tube and have been using it every day. Miaderm is pricey, about $25 per tube.
According to the literature the pharmacy provided, Miaderm was developed by radiation oncologists specifically for patients undergoing radiation therapy. It contains aloe, calendula and lanolin plus a host of ingredients I can’t pronounce. I am not a big fan of putting stuff in or on my body that I can’t pronounce.
I have been researching Calendula, and chatting with Kelly, my favorite aromatherapist, about creating a custom blend with Calendula essential oil. Calendula oil has anti-inflamatory and wound-healing properties. If we come up with something, I’ll be sure to let the world know.
While Miaderm is good, it does not provide relief from the sunburn type pain that I feel on my nipple. So, I put 2 and 2 together and tried:
H-E-B Solutions Aftersun Aloe Vera Gel with Pure Aloe Vera Review
Aftersun Aloe Vera Gel was designed to soothe and cool sun burn, so YES, it cools and soothes my red, swollen breast! Gloriously, I might add.
H-E-B is a Texas based chain of grocery stores. I am sure that any Aloe Vera Gel brand will provide the same relief as this one.
Aloe Vera is actually the 7th ingredient in this formula. While it contains WAY fewer hard to pronounce ingredients than the Miaderm, the first ingredient is alcohol – which probably accounts for the cooling effect, but isn’t very good for the skin. It is also a very unnatural shade of green.
My search for the PERFECT radiation relief cream is far from over. Expect a second, or even third, video review in the near future.
If you have personal experience with radiation creams and would like to share your favorite, leave a comment below. If I end up using your suggestion in a video, I’ll give you a shout out and send you a free gift, if you are into that sort of thing.