Evolution of Radiation Skin Effects
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Evolution of skin radiation effects, Day 9 - 24
Evolution of skin radiation effects, Day 24 - 96

Source: Cutaneous Radiation Injury: Fact Sheet for Physicians (HHS/CDC)

  • Pictures from a patient involved in an x-ray diffraction accident from 9 to 96 days after exposure.
  • The day following the exposure (not shown), the patient displayed only mild diffuse swelling and erythema of the fingertips.
  • On day 9, punctate lesions resembling telangiectasias were noted in the subungal region of the right index finger.
  • On day 11, blisters began to appear. Desquamation continued for weeks thereafter.
  • Approximately 2 years following exposure, the patient developed cellulitis in the right thumb.
  • The area of the right fingertip and nail continued to cause the patient great pain when even minor trauma occurred to the fingertip, and he required occasional oral narcotic analgesics to manage this pain.
  • He continued to experience intense pain resulting from minor trauma to the affected areas for as long as 4 years after exposure. Note skin and nail changes.