Radiation damage (skin injury)

Last revised by William Howden on 11 Mar 2023

Radiation-induced skin injuries can occur in both radiotherapy and fluoroscopic procedures such as interventional radiology.  It is a type of deterministic effect.

Acute radiation doses above 2 Gy are known to result in erythema, permanent epilation will occur at 7 Gy and delayed skin necrosis transpires above doses of 12 Gy. 

The damage is related to the absorbed dose of the area of skin receiving the most exposure in the examinations. 

Methods to control skin dose

  • maintain a low current and therefore a higher kV

  • ensure the detector is as close to the patient as possible

  • tight collimation to the area of interest

  • minimize screening time

  • do no use a grid for smaller patients

  • when a substantial gap is between the patient and detector remove the grid as this utilizes the air gap technique

See also

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