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Mild soaps and radiotherapy: A survey of the UK public to identify brands of soap considered mild and analysis of these to ascertain suitability for recommendation in radiotherapy departments

Robertson, Kate and Brown, Paul 2011. Mild soaps and radiotherapy: A survey of the UK public to identify brands of soap considered mild and analysis of these to ascertain suitability for recommendation in radiotherapy departments. European Journal of Cancer Care 20 (3) , pp. 315-320. 10.1111/j.1365-2354.2010.01181.x

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Abstract

Cancer agencies recommend that patients use mild soap when undergoing external beam radiotherapy to minimise skin reactions. They define ‘mild soap’ as non-alkaline, lanolin free, unperfumed soap with a neutral pH. This study aimed to identify which soaps the UK public perceive as mild and ascertain if these were clinically mild and could potentially be recommended within radiotherapy departments. A survey of 237 participants identified eight top brands of mild soap, which were then tested for pH and analysed for potential irritants. All soaps were lanolin free and non-alkaline, with Simple and Johnson's the closest to pH 5.5. All contained fragrances except Simple and E45. Dove, Pears and Imperial Leather contained the highest concentration of fragrances. All soaps except E45 contained potential irritants. Only Simple and E45 fit the cancer agencies' definition of mild soap and could therefore be recommended for radiotherapy patients. Future research should identify current practices and recommendations in the UK as anecdotal evidence suggests large variations in skin care advice. Further scientific analysis could potentially identify cheaper brands that fit the definition of ‘mild’. UK recommendations should be standardised and consistent with best practice to reduce skin reaction severity in radiotherapy patients.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Healthcare Sciences
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0254 Neoplasms. Tumors. Oncology (including Cancer)
Uncontrolled Keywords: radiotherapy;skin care;soap;skin reaction
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN: 0961-5423
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 03:04
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/16168

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