How to Keep Your Cast Dry in the Shower

Man showering with wrapped plaster cast for wrist fracture
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A broken bone can be a real pain, but it's even more frustrating when you can't take a shower. While it is necessary to keep a cast dry, it can be a challenge to do so. But with a little creativity, you can still enjoy your daily hygiene routine. 

We've collected some tips for keeping your traditional plaster or fiberglass cast dry during showers. In addition, we've provided information about the best waterproof casts on the market that allow you to shower and bathe while being able to completely submerge your cast in water. 

Types of Casts

Man with broken arm wrapped medical cast plaster and blue bandage.
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Most people are familiar with traditional plaster or fiberglass casts. These types of casts are commonly used to immobilize broken bones and allow them to heal. Let’s take a look at how these traditional casts are applied and what makes them not suitable for immersion in water. 

Plaster Cast

Plaster casts are made of a stockinette bandage that is applied in layers. The bandage is covered in plaster of paris that hardens when it dries. If you have a plaster cast, you need to take extra care not to get it wet since plaster casts are not waterproof. Water weakens the cast and can cause it to crack or disintegrate. 

Fiberglass Cast

To apply a fiberglass cast, the first step is to wrap the injured area with stockinette. Next, cotton is wrapped around the stockinette, followed by soaked fiberglass. The fiberglass will harden as it dries, creating a supportive shell that will hold the arm in place and allow it to heal properly. Even though fiberglass casts are more waterproof than plaster casts, the material inside the cast can still develop mold and mildew after it gets wet. 

What Happens if Your Cast Gets Wet?

Even if you have been warned about the consequences of getting your cast wet, accidents can happen. If your cast gets wet, it can weaken the plaster or

fiberglass and cause it to break. This can cause the bone to move out of place, which can delay healing and put you at risk for re-injury.

In addition to being uncomfortable, wet casts are also more likely to cause skin irritation and dermatitis. This is because the trapped moisture and body heat, combined with dirt and dead skin cells, make the perfect breeding ground for odor-causing bacteria. 

One of the best ways to protect your plaster or fiberglass cast from all of these problems is to create a barrier between the water and your cast. Let's take a look at different methods to protect your cast from water damage. 

Waterproof Cast Covers

Little boy in swimming pool with cast cover for plaster cast.
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One of the most effective options for keeping your arm cast dry is to purchase a waterproof cast cover for showers. Designed to stay dry even when submerged underwater, cast covers are reusable and can be found at most pharmacies or medical supply stores. 

Made from durable, water-resistant material, cast covers slip over the arm to create a tight seal. Be sure the cast cover is large enough to fit over the cast and any padding. 

DIY Cast Waterproofing Methods

There are a few different DIY methods you can try to keep your cast dry during baths and showers. Although this method is typically less effective than professional cast covers, it still provides extra protection if you are in a pinch. 

Plastic Bag 

One option is to use a plastic bag or garbage bag to cover the cast. Simply put the bag over your cast and secure it with medical tape, duct tape, or a rubber band. This will create a waterproof barrier that will help keep your cast dry. Be sure to check the bag for holes before getting it wet. 

Plastic Wrap 

Plastic wrap, or cling film, is a thin plastic film typically used for sealing food items in containers or wrapping them for storage. However, this material can also be useful for covering a cast. 

Wrap the plastic tightly around the cast so that there are no gaps where water can seep through. You can use a rubber band, medical tape or duct tape at the ends of the cast to help ensure a tight seal. Just be sure not to submerge the cast in water, as the seal may not be as tight as you hope.

How to Dry a Wet Cast

If you are sweating profusely, or if your cast gets wet, be sure to dry it off as soon as possible. You can use a hairdryer on the low setting or a fan to help speed up the process. 

If you have any concerns or your cast seems to be deteriorating, call your doctor or orthopedic specialist right away. They will be able to tell you if your cast needs to be replaced.

Waterproof Casts That Are Best for Showering

Kid in swimming pool with cast21 waterproof cast alternative for broken wrist

Some people may opt for a waterproof cast because they are shower-friendly and made of waterproof materials. This means you won't have to miss out on your daily hygiene routines. If you're looking for a truly waterproof cast, here are a few of the best options available today.

Cast21

Cast21 is a lightweight, breathable, and waterproof cast alternative. It has an innovative low profile design that has been engineered with a rapid application process in mind. The quick-setting resin hardens within minutes to provide the support you need to heal. The open concept of the cast alternative and use of waterproof materials makes it easier for patients to maintain proper hygiene. This means you can go about showering, bathing, and swimming without having to worry about damaging your Cast21 product. 

3D Printed Cast

These casts are made using an imaging scan of the arm to create a precise fit. 3D printed casts are waterproof and can provide a more comfortable and convenient option for people with certain types of injuries. The downside is that not every clinic has access to 3D printing machines. And for people who do have access, 3D-printed casts can be expensive.  

Choosing a Cast for Your Shower Needs

If you're tired of having your cast limit your ability to shower, consider a Cast21 alternative. Unlike traditional plaster or fiberglass casts, the Cast21 alternative is a medical innovation made from a lightweight quick-setting resin that is breathable, completely waterproof, and strong enough to withstand the rigors of daily showers. 

If you or someone you know has suffered an arm injury, be sure to consult with a medical professional and ask if the Cast21 alternative is right for you. 

Get back your personal hygiene routine with Cast21. Learn more about Cast21, and request a sample

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