Chemo Rash Causes and Treatments


People can have varying responses to the different forms of Ulcers on the skin  

Your physician may recommend the following practices before receiving radiation treatment to avoid the development of chemo rash:

  • Wash your skin very gently with warm water to remove any bacteria and avoid irritation
  • Use a gentle cleanser with a low-pH for cleansing
  • Avoid scrubbing at any lines on your skin
  • Stop shaving so you don’t irritate your skin
  • Put a moisturizer on your skin, except for any open wounds  

Radiation Recall

Radiation recall is an acute inflammatory form of chemo rash that can appear after administering chemotherapy agents to a patient after radiation therapy. It is one of the more unique forms of chemo rash, and there is still much not known about specific combinations that trigger the condition. 

When radiation recall appears on the skin, it may have the appearance of a severe sunburn. You might also experience pain, blistering, peeling, redness, and swelling. Radiation recall typically affects areas in the body where a patient received radiation, along with:  

  • Lungs
  • Mouth
  • Esophagus
  • Larynx
  • Various muscles
  • Brain  

Hand-Foot Syndrome

Cancer patients receiving chemotherapy or other forms of cancer treatment can develop the chemo rash hand-foot syndrome. It’s a skin reaction that happens when a small amount of medication from the treatment starts leaking from small blood vessels, usually on the hands and feet. Symptoms in those areas can include:   

  • Numbness
  • Redness
  • Tenderness
  • Rash
  • Swelling
  • Irritation 
  • Discomfort  

Remedies and Treatments for Chemo Rash

A physician can work out the best course of treatment for chemo rash. Remedies for chemo rash will vary based on the form of chemo rash a patient experiences. Your cancer provider may recommend you use certain mild soaps, moisturizers, and lotions to alleviate your symptoms.

Your doctors may also have ideas on prescription medications that can reduce the appearance and resulting discomfort of chemo rash. 

Your doctor may also offer other suggestions about home remedies for chemo rash treatment, including:  

  • Keeping the rash area clean and dry with warm water, light soap, and a soft washcloth
  • Wearing soft, loose-fitting clothes to avoid irritating the skin
  • Wearing a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, or other protective clothing when out in the sun
  • Using all prescribed medications for chemo rash  

When to See a Doctor

You should see a doctor anytime you notice any skin irritation after receiving chemotherapy treatment, especially if it lasts longer than two days. They should examine any skin that may be open or bleeding from scratching.