Welcome to our health education library. The information shared below is provided to you as an educational and informational source only and is not intended to replace a medical examination or consultation, or medical advice given to you by a physician or medical professional.
You've just been given a cast made of plaster or fiberglass. This cast will hold your arm or leg in place to help it heal. Though it might feel a bit awkward at first, you'll soon get used to it. During the coming days and weeks, the way you treat your cast can play a big part in how fast and how well you heal.
To keep your cast dry around water, wrap it in plastic. Use heavy tape to keep the plastic in place.
Keep the Cast Dry
If a plaster cast gets wet, it can soften and fall apart. And if the padding of a fiberglass cast gets wet, it can irritate and damage your skin. So your cast must stay dry.
Avoid activities that can get your cast wet. These include swimming, fishing, washing dishes, and even going out in the rain.
Bathe as directed by your healthcare provider. When you bathe, keep your cast out of water and wrapped in plastic.
Don't soak your cast in water, even if it's wrapped in plastic.
If your cast does get wet, try drying it as soon as possible. To do this, use a hair dryer set to cool. Call your healthcare provider if your cast doesn't dry within 24 hours.
Handle with Care
For the best results, remember the following:
Do keep the cast clean and dry. Cover it with plastic to protect it when around dirt or water.
Do use any support you are given, such as crutches or a sling.
Do elevate the cast above your heart whenever possible.
Don't slide anything inside the cast, even to scratch your skin.
Don't put lotions or powders around the cast or inside it.
Don't bang the cast.
Don't cut the cast or pull it apart.
Don't wash the cast.