Need something? Call us: 1.800.4BAYLOR(1.800.422.9567)
Text Size:

Cast Care

Your health care provider just gave you 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.

Image of man with cast wrapped in plastic
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:

Thumb up

Do

  • 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.

Thumb down Don’t

  • 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 hit the cast.

  • Don’t cut the cast or pull it apart.

  • Don’t wash the cast.

Online Medical Reviewer: newMentor board-certified, academically affiliated clinician
Online Medical Reviewer: Stump-Sutliff, Kim, RN, MSN, AOCNS
Last Review Date: 3/6/2013
© 2000-2014 Krames StayWell, 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.