The Best Ways to Cover a Cast in the Shower!

Thursday, 5 January 2006  |  Admin

The Best Ways to Cover a Cast in the Shower!

The worst thing about getting injured and fracturing a bone is that you must spend months keeping it wrapped in a cast. Most casts are not waterproof, but there are different types of casts available in the market. Most of the times, your doctor will recommend a plaster cast, but there are fibreglass casts as well. The cast is only applied for a few weeks, but if you have a major break in your arm or leg, then the doctor may recommend a waterproof cast.

The most important thing you must do once you have a cast applied to your arm or leg is to keep it dry. You must ensure the cast is dry because if it gets wet, your bone will not set and heal properly. This will worsen your condition, and you may need to invest in a new cast. There are two main types of casts available in the market today. These are the:

  • Plaster of Paris cast
  • Fibreglass cast

The plaster of Paris cast is the most commonly used one because the fibreglass cast is more expensive. The fiberglass cast offers more benefits than the plaster one as it is lighter in weight, and comes with waterproof protection. It is recommended for people who have serious bone injuries, which requires them to wear a cast for a significant period of time.

Whether you are wearing a fibreglass cast or one that is made from plaster, you must ensure you take good care of it and keep it dry. Your cast will have cotton padding applied underneath it, which will protect the underlying bones and skin from coming under direct pressure or contact from the cast. You are advised not to let the cotton padding underneath the cast get wet!

Bone healing with a cast

When you break a bone in your body, the pain is going to be excruciating and your mobility and functionality will be limited until it completely heals. This generally depends on what bone you break in your body, but the good news is that all bones will heal with time. When you do suffer a bone break, you will notice that the bleeding tissues will clot your blood, and new cells entering the clot will release fibres that tie up and repair the tissues completely.

These special cells will oversee bone formation and healing by producing new fibres to repair the bone. When the new bone is forming, it will be weak and spongy, but with exercise and time, it will harden and become stronger and firmer.

Helpful hints

  • You should protect the cast for 2 to 3 days till the plaster has completely dried.
  • You can also exercise your toes or fingers to reduce swelling.
  • To smooth over the rough cast edges, you can use an emery board.
  • If you notice swelling and discomfort, you should keep the injured limb elevated.
  • Don’t try to poke or scratch underneath the cast.
  • Apply ice around the cast if you notice swelling.
  • Always cover your cast to keep it dry when you shower or bathe.

Warning signs

Taking care of your cast isn’t easy, and if you notice any of the warning signs mentioned below, you should keep your injured limb elevated, and get in touch with a medical professional immediately.

  • Damaged or broken cast (never try to remove the cast yourself).
  • Tingling or numbness that doesn’t go away after 40 minutes of elevation.
  • Extreme pain on the injured limb.
  • Coldness, discoloration or numbness in your toes or fingers.
  • Excessive swelling or extreme tightness under the cast.

The proper method for keeping your cast dry in the shower

It doesn’t matter what kind of cast you have on your injured limb, even if it is waterproof, you should always protect your cast by keeping it dry when showering or bathing. Fiberglass casts protect against water damage, but it is still advised to keep them dry. This is because if water gets inside the cast, the cotton line underneath will become wet, leading to skin irritation, and in some cases skin breakage.

If the cotton lining gets wet under the cast, and you haven’t been able to dry it, even with the help of a blow dryer, you will feel your skin getting itchy. In such a case, you are advised to get in touch with your doctor quickly. When you get your cast, you should ensure that you practice proper cast care so that your healing process isn’t impeded in any way. However, most people are not able to do the basics of cast care since wearing a cast is troublesome.

You need to be careful when showering or bathing because even waterproof casts can’t guarantee 100% protection against water. It isn’t like you can wear a waterproof cast and then dive into a swimming pool without worrying that the cast will get wet. Luckily for you, there are a lot of different ways through which you can keep your casts dry when showering.

We will look at some of them, which should give you a good idea about the proper method for keeping your cast dry in the shower.

·        Wet casts

If you suffer from a fractured arm or leg, you will most likely be wearing a splint or a cast to keep your bones in one place and support the limbs. This is done to ensure that the healing process begins quickly. It keeps your bones and tissues in one place, and this allows faster healing.

One of the most important rules of cast care is to keep your cast dry. If the cast gets wet, it will lose its shape, and your broken bones won’t be able to heal properly. A cast that has lost its shape won’t be able to support the bones, which need to stabilize for the healing to begin. If the cotton lining of the cast gets wet, you can suffer from an infection or a rash, which will start developing inside the cast.

·        Keeping plaster casts dry

When you get injured, and the pain from your injuries is still fresh, the doctor will apply a plaster cast, made from water and white powder. These casts are easy to fit around the swelling because they are bulky and heavy. It is important that you protect the plaster casts from water since they will start to dissolve if you put them in water. This is where investing in a cast protector, like the LIMBO waterproof cast protector, can be a life saver. The waterproof cast protector, ensures that you can bathe and shower without worrying about the cast getting wet.

·        Water-resistance fibreglass casts

There are also a lot of water-resistant fibreglass casts available in the market, which can only be applied once the swelling on your limbs have subsided. The fibreglass cast is cooler, lighter, and stronger than the plaster cast, and comes with water resistance on the outside. However, water can still get inside the cast, so it doesn’t offer complete protection.

Best ways to cover a cast in the shower

You will get tired of hearing your doctor constantly nag you on the best ways to cover your cast in the shower to keep it dry and away from water. At the risk of nagging you like your doctor, we are going to offer you some tips to cover your cast in the shower in the best way possible.

It doesn’t matter whether you have a bandage, splint, leg cast, or arm cast applied over your limbs, protecting the cast from water is imperative. So, here are some of the best ways to cover a cast in the shower to keep it dry, and ensure your limbs heal faster:

1.Keep your cast out of water:

This method can be tricky because water can easily drip down your arm or leg. This will end up damaging and soaking the cast padding completely, which isn’t advised.

2.Tie a plastic bag around the cast:

This is another popular method for keeping the cast dry in the shower. We do NOT advise this method, because it is ineffective, and will only cause inconvenience.

3.Purchase a high-quality waterproof cast protector, cast cover, or cast sleeve:

Get your hands on the LIMBO cast protector. It is 100% watertight seal, and has been designed for swimming, showering, and bathing.

Is it OK to get a cast wet in the shower?

There are different types of casts that are available in the market, and you may assume that waterproof casts will ensure complete protection. However, water can still drip inside the cast, and it is never the right thing to get your cast wet in the shower.

·        Plaster casts are meant to stay dry

If you are wearing a plaster cast, you need to keep it dry because plaster will dissolve if any water gets inside it. This is where you need to invest in a quality waterproof cast protector.

·        Fibreglass casts can get wet

If you are wearing a fibreglass cast, it will come with a water-repellent liner. This means you can wear this cast when you shower or bathe.

You should however know that even fibreglass casts can become uncomfortable and you can develop itching skin if any water gets inside. Therefore, you should invest in a waterproof cast protector so that you don’t have to worry about water leaking or dripping inside it.

If your cast protector has gotten wet, you should immediately use a hair dryer to cool it down. Make sure you are careful with the hair dryer; otherwise you can burn your skin. This would mean another visit to the doctor.

Keeping the cast in proper shape

If you want to ensure that your cast remains in good shape, here are some useful tips. Make sure you do the following:

  • Always keep the cast clean, which means ensuring no dust or food particles get inside.
  • Don’t apply any lotions or deodorants on the skin near the cast.
  • Never try to adjust the positioning of the cast if it has become loose. That is the job of the doctor, and you should let them do it.

What else do I need to know about my cast?

You should get in touch with your doctor immediately if you start noticing the following things, once you have your cast applied on your broken limbs:

  • Increased tightness and pain in the injured limb
  • Tingling or numbness in the injured foot or hand
  • Stinging or burning sensation under the cast
  • Excessive swelling under the cast
  • You can’t move your fingers or toes on the injured limb
  • There is a foul odour coming out from the cast
  • The cast has become too loose or too tight
  • You have developed raw or red skin around the cast
  • You have a very high fever

Caring for your cast isn’t going to be easy and you should let someone else take care of you while you put your feet up and let your limbs heal.

Post care of your cast

Most people don’t know how to properly take care of their casts, which is why they tend to visit the doctor twice or thrice to get it reapplied or fixed properly. When the cast is removed, you will notice that the skin under the cast is flaky and dry, which will tempt you to apply skin lotion on it.

However, you shouldn’t do anything without first asking your doctor. You will also notice that your limb looks thinner and weaker than before. The doctor will provide you with instructions on rebuilding the ligaments and muscles in your newly healed limb, which may involve physical therapy.

You may expect some swelling once the cast comes off from your arm or leg, and the best way to deal with swelling is to keep your limbs elevated. 

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