A cast for a broken bone is sometimes a necessary evil. Although a cast can greatly speed up the healing process, its design generally does not allow for good air circulation. Sooner or later skin irritation and unbearable itching will occur. Traditional cast paddings or cast liners are made of cotton and become soiled from sweat ,body oils and dead skin. New advances in waterproof casts use special cast liners to reduce and alleviate this problem.
Why does it itch so badly?
One common culprit of itchy skin beneath a cast is swelling. This is actually a normal reaction but can be very uncomfortable. To help with swelling, try keeping the broken limb elevated above the heart as often as possible. You can also try icing the area several times a day, taking care not to let melted ice dampen the cast.
Other causes of itching inside of your cast are dead, flaky skin cells. Under normal circumstances, the outer-layer of dead skin cells would be brushed off during the day or washed off in the shower. When the dead skin is trapped underneath a cast, these dried-up cells have nowhere to go and can become a source of irritation.
How do I safely relieve the itching?
The first thing you should know is that it’s never a good idea to insert any object into a cast. The smallest abrasion on the skin inside of a cast can easily lead to infections and other medical complications. A better solution is to blow cool air from a hair dryer into the cast. This should provide much needed airflow to help cool and dry the skin under the cast. You can also try placing an icepack on the cast to help calm the itch.
The best overall option for itchy skin in a cast is to wear a waterproof cast. This style of cast uses a breathable, water-resistant cast padding that allows you to sweat, bathe and swim without complications or the use of a cast protector. It’s a great way to keep the affected area clean and odor-free while allowing you to maintain an active lifestyle.