Expert Health Articles

Radiation Ulcers

Dr. Michael J. ManuelDr. Michael J. Manuel

Medical Director, Wound Care Solutions

Radiation therapy treatment for illnesses such as cancer can be a lifesaving technique, and advancements are making radiation therapy safer and reducing radiation-induced injuries.

However, radiation sometimes causes side effects that need the assistance of a wound healing specialist. One of these side effects is ulcers caused by radiation treatment.

Radiation ulcers are an injury to the skin, tissue or even the bone caused bradiation therapy. These ulcers can be difficult to heal due to continued radiation at the site of the ulcer and a decreased ability for the body to heal wounds during illness.

In this situation, a wound care specialist can use treatments to prevent further complications and help these wounds heal. One common treatment used is hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT).

HBOT uses a hyperbaric chamber and pressurized 100 percent oxygen to promote the formation of new capillaries in the radiation ulcer.

This assists in the healing process and is effective in fighting certain types of infections. It also helps to stimulate the growth of new blood vessels, which can improve healing.

For more information on the treatment of radiation ulcers or other non-healing wounds, talk to your doctor or a wound care specialist.