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Help - Cancer- Radiation/Sunburn

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Old 03-27-2007, 07:28 AM   #1
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Question Help - Cancer- Radiation/Sunburn

Hi all,

I have/had cancer. I had surgery but they also did radiation therapy. I finished radiation about a week and a half ago. The radiation is done on the neck/face area. Well, radiation leaves the person with a sunburn kind of look- only on the areas that were touched by the radiation. After the radiation, parts of my face were about 3-4 shades darker than the rest of my face. I am a Black woman so I have never had a sunburn. I am a little lost. The burnt skin eventually peeled and left new skin. Well, that new skin is now about 2 shades lighter than the orignal skin. Is that normal for a sunburn? It peels and the new skin is alot lighter? Help! What can I expect with "sunburn" skin. I just want answers and the web is no help. I want to move on with my life but it is hard when my face tells the whole story. I appreciate any help or advice you can give.


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Old 03-27-2007, 07:50 AM   #2
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I've never been through it, but I just wanted to offer my sympathy and support. And congratulations, since you're done with radiation now! My guess is that as the new skin is exposed to light it will even out with the rest, though I'm not sure.

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Old 03-27-2007, 09:04 AM   #3
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I know in a light-skinned person, the skin tone eventually evens out, so I would assume that the same would hold true with a black-skinned person. But I'm out of my depth here, so I can't say for sure.

Good luck in your recovery.
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Old 03-27-2007, 09:36 AM   #4
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I'm white, and the few times I've been badly sun burned the skin does peel off and it's lighter underneath. Eventually it evens out once it's exposed to sunlight for a while. I would assume this is also true for black skin. However, I think black skin can scar differently than white skin, so maybe this should be a question for your doctor. Either way, contrats on completing your treatment!
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Old 03-27-2007, 01:52 PM   #5
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Old 03-27-2007, 05:47 PM   #6
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Smile Thanks!

Thanks to all for your responses. It really put me at ease. "Time heals all wounds" I guess I have to play the waiting game.

I guess I just wanted it to go a little quicker because I want to start dating again and I am a little self conscious because of my complexion. Overall, it has been a good experience. I did not have any complications and my side effects weren't as great as they could have been...Thank God!

Have a great day!
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Old 03-27-2007, 06:23 PM   #7
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it should be okay..good to hear you made it through treatment well. here's my suggestion to you..if you are really that self-conscious about your face, go out and buy makeup that will cover it up if that will help you feel better. You would probably have to go to make up counter in a dept store...we have one at our mall that is specially made for black women since you skin tone is very different. But you can get great cover up make up to help. But here's another suggestion. You been through big ordeal and i know you are looking at you skin and it reminds you of "Scars" but someone will love you for who you are..not what you look like. Realize that skin should come back to normal over time. I have a huge scar on my wrist from a bad accident (ok so not as visible as a face)..but its a reminder of my life and how grateful i am to be here and alive. So just relax...you've been through a lot and are a strong wonderful women you will be fine (:

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Old 03-27-2007, 07:06 PM   #8
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I just want to add that sunscreen may be in order so the previously burned skin doesn't burn again. It may be a little sensitive. I'm no expert, but it was just a thought that came to mind.

:hugs: on coming through this monumental challenge in your life! Here's to the good things life has in store for you now that you have THAT behind you!!

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Old 03-27-2007, 07:27 PM   #9
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Are you able to wear cosmetics? If you're interested in using them to help with your complexion, Linda Seidel has corrective products that do a really good job of blending and evening out skin tone. I don't have any major skin problems (I use her products to help diminish some redness) but others have used her stuff for serious conditions, scarring, birth marks, etc. Her products are not cheap but a little goes a long way.

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