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Radiation and Skin Care

Radiation Therapy and Your Skin

When going through radiation treatment, beams of radiation travel through your skin on their way to the affected area. Small amounts of radiation are absorbed into the skin during each treatment, which can lead to redness and irritation on the skin’s surface, similar to sunburn.¹ This effect is called radiation dermatitis, and symptoms can also include dryness, itchiness, or soreness.² Examine your skin regularly and keep your doctor up to date on its condition.

3M™ Cavilon™ No Sting Barrier Film is here to help you support your skin’s integrity.

  • A spray bottle of 3M™ Cavilon™ No Sting Barrier Film beside three packages of 3M™ Cavilon™ Brand products.

    3M™ Cavilon™ No Sting Barrier Film is the only barrier film clinically proven to be effective in helping to manage your skin’s integrity during radiation therapy.* Its’ sting-free formula forms a transparent barrier over the skin that helps protect your skin from friction and aids in moisture management. The effects of radiation therapy on your skin may not appear right away, but 3M™ Cavilon™ No Sting Barrier Film can help to delay or reduce radiation skin damage without irritating the already sensitive area.

    Be sure to consult your doctor before use.

    *Data on file.

    See barrier film products

How to use 3M™ Cavilon™ No Sting Barrier Film

  • An icon of a hand under a faucet.

    Wash gently.

    Gently wash your skin to take off any creams, lotions, gels, or any other products. Use a gentle, colourless, scent-free soap that is pH balanced. For best results, use 3M™ Cavilon™ Skin Cleansers, which are designed to be extra-gentle and residue-free. Make sure the soap washes off fully and doesn’t leave a moisturizer behind, and then gently pat your skin dry.

  • An icon of a spray bottle.

    Spray on.

    Hold the bottle of 3M™Cavilon™ No Sting Barrier Film 10-15 cm from your skin, and spray onto the areas that will be affected. Each spray will cover an area of 8-10 cm. Repeat until the entire affected area has been covered with barrier film, and then allow the film to dry completely, which takes about 30 seconds.** Be careful not to spray the film in your eyes, nose, or mouth.

    **If you are spraying the barrier film onto an area within a skin fold (for example, underneath your breast), hold the skin apart until barrier film is completely dry, about 30 seconds.

  • An icon of a calendar.


    Reapply two times per week. For example: Monday and Thursday, Tuesday and Friday, or Wednesday and Saturday could be your application days. If used in the perineal area with diarrhea, apply every 24 hours to help prevent skin break down from increased bowel movements.

Please note:

  1. It is not necessary to wash off the barrier film before your next use. Sometimes the barrier film may build up and look like flaky skin, but this is normal, and will not harm you.
  2. Do not use any ointments, creams, lotions, or gels under or over 3M™ Cavilon™ No Sting Barrier Film. These products may affect how the barrier film product works.
  3. Do not apply the barrier film near ignition sources or heat-producing devices. Avoid using around flames, and do not smoke while applying the film.


  • A video still of a woman smiling with a young boy and girl.

    Part 1: a patient's story on the effects of radiation therapy


  • A video still of a woman smiling with a young boy.

    Part 2: using 3M™ Cavilon™ No Sting Barrier Film — surprising results


  • A video still of a woman cooking in a kitchen, with a young boy and girl watching.

    Part 3: how 3M™ Cavilon™ Brand helped


  • A video still of a woman sitting in her backyard.

    Part 4: get comfortable with 3M™ Cavilon™ No Sting Barrier Film


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  1. University of Pennsylvania, http://www.oncolink.org/
  2. Canadian Cancer Society, http://www.cancer.ca/en/
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