Q. Following radiation therapy, my mother's skin has become black. Why?

Answered by
Dr. Arun Kaushik. R
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Dec 29, 2016 and last reviewed on: Feb 17, 2021

Hello doctor,

My mother is 55 years old. She was diagnosed with right breast carcinoma around 1.5 years back. She was treated with eight sessions of chemotherapy and then, surgery (mastectomy) and again, 25 sessions of radiation therapy. She got the last dose of radiation therapy around four months back. Her skin has become black like burnt skin and it was like that since the last dose of radiation for almost a month. Her black skin has started to rot and it is coming out like blisters. There is burning sensation around that area and it pains like a prick. Is it a normal side effect of radiation therapy? We are giving her pain relievers and dressing the wound daily. What should we do to heal the wound completely? 



Welcome to

I understand your concern.

  • This is due to the radiation therapy. It will take some time for the lesions to heal.
  • Daily dressing and pain reliever will help. As her immunity is low because of the radiation, dressing of the wound is essential as chance of infection is high. Also, do not prick the blisters.

For further information consult a general practitioner online -->

Hi doctor,

Can you tell me how much time does it take to heal the lesion usually as per my mother's case? Also, is it normal to have those symptoms after four months of radiation?



Welcome back to

  • It is difficult to tell how long it will take, but it takes a long time as the skin is blackened due to the radiation.
  • The symptom starting after four months is a little difficult to explain, but it still can be due to the radiation effect.
  • Also, if she is having some tablets or sometimes a viral infection can also lead to such presentation. But, blackening of the skin is the most common effect of the heat generated during the radiation therapy.

For further information consult a general practitioner online -->

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