I'm in week 7 of recovery after chemo and radiotherapy and all the radiation burns have healed. Can I now sunbathe with my usual protection?


  • My wife was told not to sunbathe for at least a year after her radiotherapy. If she chose to ignore the advice, then she should at least completely protect the area because the tissues/skin remain very sensitive to sun exposure.

  • Thanks Prof. The sensitive skin is in my nether regions which will be covered anyway. Bob

  • Hello and thanks for your post

    After radiotherapy the skin becomes much more sensitive to the sun because of the damage from the radiotherapy to the healthy cells as well as to the cancer cells.

    We have some general information on radiotherapy and how it affects the skin on our website.

    It's advisable to protect your skin from the sun for at least a year after radiotherapy and most doctors would recommend being extra careful after this to. Wearing a sun block of SPF 50 and a UVA 4/5 star rating and wearing a hat with a brim that provides shade to your neck as well as your head .Also wearing sunglasses and clothing to cover up can also help

    The general advice for everyone is to stay safe in the sun so you may find it helpful to read our information about how to stay safe in the sun.

    It’s also a good idea to talk to your doctor or specialist nurse as they can advise you if you need to take any specific precautions.

    Give us a ring if you would like to talk anything over. The number to call is Freephone 0808 800 4040 and the lines are open from 9am till 5pm Monday to Friday.

    Kind regards,


  • Thanks Celene. Very helpful information. Can I clear up something? Are you saying that I should protect myself including the skin that wasn't subjected to radiotherapy, hence wearing a hat and protecting my neck, or just protect the area that was subjected to radiotherapy?

    Thanks again


  • Hi had the same I've been out in the sun with a high factor and my skin is fine 

  • Thanks Ginaleah. Good to know. Bob

  • Hello and thanks for your further post,

    Just to clarify, it is sensible to protect all skin exposed to strong sunlight, with particular attention to the area that has had radiotherapy, as it may be more sensitive.

    There is more information provided in the links that Celene provided.

    Hope this makes sense,

    Best wishes,


  • Thank you Vanda. I do have sensitive skin and use factor 50 in direct sunlight and wear a hat. Good to know I can continue to do that while covering the area (my anus and crotch) which had been subject to treatment. Thanks again. Bob