Caring for Your Cast at Home

There are some important things you need to do to properly care for your cast between visits with your provider.

Protect Your Cast While it Hardens

  • Change your position frequently to help aid in even drying
  • Use pillows or soft cushions to prevent flat spots from forming
  • Do not put weight on the cast until it is completely dry

Keep Your Cast Dry

  • It is important to keep your cast dry. Getting your cast wet can cause it to become damaged and fall apart.
  • Avoid any activities that could result in your cast getting wet.
  • Wrap your cast in a plastic bag when you shower or bathe. Use heavy tape or rubber bands to secure the plastic so that water won’t leak in. You may also purchase a waterproof cast protector from the drug store or other retail stores. These are available for arms or legs and have rubber seals that don’t require tape to secure. Commercial cast protectors are reusable over the entire course of treatment or until they get torn or punctured. Patients who are small may find the arm protectors are a better fit for their legs to avoid excess material that could create a fall hazard.
  • Bathe or shower in the quickest amount of time possible to reduce the risk of inadvertent cast contact with water. DO NOT soak in a bath.
  • Cover the cast with a waterproof cast cover, or plastic bag secured with tape before traveling outdoors during inclement weather.
  • If your cast gets wet, use a blow dryer on the COOL setting to dry it as quickly as possible. DO NOT use anything other than the lowest and coolest setting on the blow dryer, or you could burn your skin. Call your provider if the cast has not dried within 24-hours.

Additional Measures for Home Care

  • Do not insert objects down into your cast to try to scratch your skin. This could lead to objects getting stuck in your cast and causing cuts and subsequent infections under the cast.
  • Cover any rough edges of the cast with cloth tape. You can buy this at a drugstore or other retail stores.
  • Do not cut, tear, or try to remove the cast yourself.
  • Do not pull or cut away any of the cast padding that is used to protect your skin.
  • Do not walk on your cast unless you are told to do so and then, without wearing any protective shoe or boot that you were provided.
  • Elevate the body part that is in the cast above the level of your heart. Do this as often as possible during the day to help reduce swelling.
  • Make sure you keep your follow-up appointment with your provider.

Emergency Care

Go to the Emergency Department if:

  • Your cast becomes painful and feels tighter than it was initially
  • You notice your skin is turning blue or pale
  • Your skin begins to tingle or burn
  • Your skin becomes cold or numb
  • You develop blisters or sores around the cast edges
  • Your cast gets damaged
  • You develop a fever greater than 101

Contact your wound care provider if you have any questions or concerns about your care or treatment plan.