Wearing a cast can pose as an obstacle for even the most common daily tasks and anyone who has needed a cast for a broken bone understands how much of a nuisance they can really be.
One of the most difficult tasks is keeping the cast dry, if you opted out of getting a waterproof cast. From swimming to showering or walking in the rain to even sweating, there are many potential situations where a cast can get wet and you have to mindful of your situations. In addition to ruining a cast, water can also bring about unwanted odors that can be quite unpleasant to those around you. If your non waterproof cast padding or lining gets wet, please consult your physician immediately.
From all of us at AquaCast Liner, we would like to share three ways to ensure your cast stays as dry as possible, no matter what you are doing.
1. Ask Your Doctor for a Protective Waterproof Cast Liner
A majority of casts today are made with fiberglass shell. This sturdy material protects the broken limb from further damage and helps to prevent movement as bones heal. While the fiberglass itself is water resistant, the cast padding underneath is not. When this material gets wet, it is very hard to dry out, even all the hairdryers in the world sometimes can’t help.
While you are having your cast constructed by the doctor, you can request to have a waterproof cast lining put in between the fiberglass exterior and your skin. This waterproof liner will enable you to shower, bathe, wash hands while also allowing for improved airflow and dry time, thus decreasing potential future problems as your bone heals.
2. Invest in Cast Covers
Perhaps the most cost effective method for keeping your cast dry is to invest in a cast cover. There are cast cover products designed specifically for particular limbs. For example, some cast covers are designed for arms while others are designed for legs. These covers look like large bags that are placed over the cast acting much like a poncho. Many of these covers also come with pumps that allow patients to suck out all of the air in the bag creating a tighter seal, resulting in an effectively waterproof cast.
We would like to point out that not all cast covers are 100% effective at keeping water out. For instance, if some cast covers are submerged in water when taking a bath or swimming, water has a chance to enter. The same would apply for taking a shower with constant water raining down on the cover. We recommend you be careful and check to make sure your seal is tight, but not so tight as to inhibit your circulation to the extremity.
3. Use Homemade Materials
For some people, cast covers and waterproof liners may not be an option and when it comes to an emergency situation, you may not have the time to buy these products. In these moments, several homemade materials can be used as protection to help waterproof your cast. The most obvious of these alternatives is the good-old trash bag. Often used as makeshift plastic wraps, these bags can be easily placed and secured around all forms of casts using tape or rubberbands. Again, we advise being mindful of your circulation and to not have the seal be too tight.
Additionally, we have heard of patients getting creative with plastic wrap used mainly for food preservation to help waterproof a cast. Pretty clever, but understand these homemade cast covers are not 100% water resistant and if you should have any issues, contact your physician right away if you smell something odd, a rash develops, or the cast padding is damaged or discolored.
Keeping your cast dry can be difficult without the proper materials, but we hope our tips help you make the best decision for your given circumstances if you are dealing with a broken bone now, or ever have to go through the unfortunate process of healing a fractured bone.