Chronic radiodermatitis

Last Updated: 2020-08-17

Author(s): Anzengruber F., Navarini A.

ICD11: EJ71

Radioderm, chronic radiodermatitis, radiodermatitis, radiodermia.

Dermatitis caused by chronic exposure to ionising radiation (α, β, γ, radium and boundary radiation).

High radiation levels.

Poikiloderma, atrophic, desiccated skin with extensive telangiectasia. Loss of skin appendages and hypo- and hyperpigmentation. Poor healing tendency.

  • X-ray ulcer
  • X-ray keratoses
  • Carcinoma development

  • Regular dermatological check-ups to rule out neoplasia
  • Avoidance of trauma
  • Stage-specific ulcer therapy


Topical Therapy

  • Topical steroids (if necessary, short-term in case of a pronounced inflammatory reaction)


  • Mometasone furoate cream / solution / ointment
  • Clobetasol cream 1-2 daily (for 1-3 days)


  • Moisturizing local therapy


  • Acetylsalicylic acid p.o. 500 mg 3x daily
  • Tramadol 20-40 drops daily
  • Ibuprofen p.o. 400-800 mg daily, if required.


1st choice therapy by Lebwohl Level of evidence
Acute radiodermatitis  
Moisturization E
Topical glucocorticoids A
Emulsions with trolamine A
Calendula extract (topical) A
Dexpanthenol A
Silver sulfadiazine B
Chronic radiodermatitis  
Moisturization E
2nd choice therapy by Lebwohl  
Silver-containing dressings (are being researched) A
Dead Sea products (are being researched) A
Amifostine B
Pentoxifylline (are being researched) A
Celecoxib (are being researched) E
Amitriptyline, Ketamine, Lidocaine Gel C

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