Tea extracts can help heal skin damage caused by radiation treatment in cancer patients, say researchers. Frank Pajonk from the University of California in Los Angeles and his colleagues from the University of Freiburg, Germany, studied the effects of green and black tea extracts on patients who had been treated with radiotherapy, which can damage the skin. The researchers then analysed the effect of the same tea extracts on human and mice white blood cells in culture, which showed that tea acts at the cellular level by inhibiting inflammatory pathways to reduce inflammation, reported science portal EurekAlert. This might partly be due to the anti-inflammatory properties of tea, the researchers said in the latest issue of the journal BMC Medicine. They also found that tea extracts reduce the duration of skin toxicity following radiotherapy of five to 10 days. Both black and green teas inhibit a major inflammatory pathway in a mouse's white blood cells. However, green tea extracts are more effective than black tea extracts in some patients, they added.