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Radiology. 1982 Jun;143(3):775-7.

Prophylaxis of radiation dermatitis with a topical cortisone cream.


Nineteen cancer patients receiving radiation therapy to the head, neck, chest wall, or abdomen were evaluated in a double-blind study to determine the effectiveness of 0.2% hydrocortisone valerate vs. placebo in reducing acute radiation dermatitis. Patients applied hydrocortisone valerate to one-half of the irradiate area and the placebo to the other half beginning two weeks after the initiation of radiotherapy and continuing until three weeks after completion. Left and right sides were scored each week with respect to erythema, dry desquamation, moist desquamation, ulceration, and the duration and intensity of symptoms such as soreness, burning, and itching. No statistically significant difference was found between the 0.2% hydrocortisone valerate and the placebo in the acute skin response or the symptoms of radiation dermatitis. The patients were evaluated three months following radiotherapy for evidence of skin atrophy. There were no differences found between hydrocortisone valerate and the placebo with respect to the late effects of radiation therapy.

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