Superficial Radiation Therapy

With skin cancer on the rise, and nearly four million Americans diagnosed with basal and squamous cell carcinoma annually, physicians and patients now have an additional treatment option for non-melanoma skin cancer known as Superficial Radition Therapy, or SRT for short.

Superficial Radiation Therapy (SRT) Explained

Superficial radiation therapy involves the use of low-energy radiation to treat skin conditions, usually cancers or non-cancerous growths on or just beneath the skin's surface. Unlike deep radiation therapy, which penetrates deeper into the body, SRT specifically targets the outer layers of the skin.

Benefits of SRT

  • Non-Invasive Treatment: SRT is a non-invasive treatment option, meaning there is no surgery involved. Patients typically lie comfortably during the sessions.
  • Localized Treatment: The radiation is targeted precisely to the affected area, minimizing damage to surrounding healthy tissue. This precision is particularly important when treating skin cancers on visible areas like the face.
  • Outpatient Procedure: SRT is often performed on an outpatient basis, allowing patients to go home the same day. The number of treatment sessions varies depending on the specific condition and the treatment plan.
  • Minimal Side Effects: Compared to traditional radiation therapy, SRT tends to have fewer side effects. 

How Pinnacle Dermatology Can Help

Pinnacle Dermatology offers a non-surgical skin cancer treatment option with Superficial Radiation Therapy.  SRT penetrates the skin’s surface with a precise dose of Superficial Radiation Therapy (SRT) to remove basal and squamous cell carcinomas. SRT can also be an appropriate non-surgical treatment option for keloids.

SRT safely destroys cancerous cells without damaging healthy surrounding tissue. Physicians view treatment areas with high-frequency ultrasound allowing them to thoroughly assess and target cancer cells with precision.

We encourage you to work with one of our board-certified dermatologists to determine if SRT is right for your. Schedule your appointment today.


SRT specifically targets the outer layers of the skin, minimizing impact on surrounding healthy tissue, and it's often shorter in duration compared to traditional radiation therapy.

SRT is commonly used for skin cancers like basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, as well as non-cancerous conditions like keloids and dermatological issues.

No, SRT is generally painless. Patients may feel a warm sensation during treatment, but discomfort is minimal.

Each session typically lasts a few minutes, and the entire treatment course may span several weeks, depending on the specific condition.

Yes, most patients can resume normal activities immediately after an SRT session.

Yes, follow-up appointments are typically scheduled to monitor progress and address any concerns. Regular check-ups help ensure the effectiveness of the treatment.

Watch: SRT Information Video

What to Expect at Your SRT Appointment

At a Superficial Radiation Therapy (SRT) appointment, patients can expect a streamlined and non-invasive experience. The session typically begins with the patient lying comfortably, and the radiation therapist precisely targeting the affected skin area. The procedure itself is quick, lasting only a few minutes, and patients can return home the same day.

The focused nature of SRT minimizes damage to surrounding healthy tissue, and most individuals experience minimal side effects, such as temporary redness or irritation. With short treatment durations and a collaborative approach with your dermatology team, SRT appointments aim to provide effective skin cancer or dermatological condition treatment while prioritizing patient comfort and well-being.

SRT is a treatment option for patients who have existing medical conditions that make surgery a serious health risk. Individual treatments last just a few minutes and with cure rates as high as 95% for non-melanoma skin cancer, SRT can be an alternative skin cancer treatment to other surgical options. SRT can be used to treat skin cancer lesions almost anywhere on the body including on the head and neck where skin cancer often occurs but also on the arms, legs and back.

How to Prepare for SRT

Preparing for Superficial Radiation Therapy (SRT) is generally straightforward. Patients are advised to wear comfortable clothing, as the treatment area needs to be easily accessible. It's essential to inform your dermatology team about any medications, allergies, or existing skin conditions. Jewelry or accessories in the treatment area should be removed, and patients should avoid using lotions, creams, or makeup on the treatment site on the day of the session. Open communication with your provider is crucial to address any concerns or questions regarding the procedure. 

Overall, SRT preparation emphasizes simplicity and ensuring the targeted skin area is ready for the focused and effective treatment.

Planning for SRT Recovery

Recovery after Superficial Radiation Therapy (SRT) is generally smooth and well-tolerated by patients. Immediately after a session, individuals can typically resume their daily activities without any significant downtime. While some patients may experience mild and temporary side effects, such as redness or irritation at the treatment site, these usually subside on their own.

It's crucial to follow any post-treatment care instructions provided by your dermatologist, which may include avoiding prolonged sun exposure and using recommended skincare products. Regular follow-up appointments will be scheduled to monitor progress and address any concerns.

Overall, the recovery process is designed to be minimally disruptive, allowing you to maintain your normal routines with minimal impact on daily life.