Cast Care Tips – A Complete Guide

Frustrated girl with leg cast


Wearing a cast is never fun.  Not only are you going to take time to recover from a painful injury, but the things you can’t do while wearing a cast are numerous!  Taking care of your cast takes time, patience and TLC. Without them, you may find that you make your injury worse and you may even increase your recovery time.

Here at Cast Covers, we understand the importance of keeping casts and slings clean and covered.  After all, keeping your injuries and wounds clean and safe is a large part of what we do!

In this guide, we will look closely at why it's essential to look after your cast.  What's more, we will also consider a few tips you can regularly use to keep any wounds, cuts and injuries clean and clear.  In no time, you'll heal and will be ready to get back to normal again!


Why Should You Look After a Cast?

While it’s tempting to think that a cast will look after itself, you will still need to keep a close eye on any breaks or injuries.  Whether in a half or full cast, in fibreglass or plaster, it will only do half the work for you.

Casts work to keep arms, legs and other body parts elevated and clean.  They prevent you from bending your body in awkward ways, too.  That means that they actively support you in terms of pain relief.

However, casts are at risk of damage.  If you don't care for your sling or cast properly, you may find that you need to head back to the hospital or to see a specialist.  That is because a cast fits precisely to your body and your given injury.

If a cast breaks, gets wet or is damaged beyond repair, you will need to have it set again.  Otherwise, your bones will not heal properly, or as quickly as they should.  It is in your best interests to keep your leg, and arm casts clean and secure!

With this in mind – what are some crucial care tips you can start putting into effect right now?


Keep Things Clean

The importance of keeping a cast clean can't be overstated.  If any dirt, dust or debris gets into it, you may be at risk of developing an infection.  Unless you work in filthy conditions, it is easy enough to avoid soiling your cast.  However, it makes sense always to be vigilant.

You should avoid any strenuous activity at all if you can help it – meaning that long walks in the dirt and mud are certainly out of the question!  Cast covers, however, will help to protect arms and legs from getting splashed or dirtied.  Vigilance is a good place to start, but a cover will give you added protection from potential hazards.


Keep Things Elevated – And Take It Easy!

Woman sitting with leg cast raised

You might only have a small injury but try and keep exercise to a minimum!  The more you risk straining your cast, and your body, the more time it will take for your arm or leg to heal.  Casts are meant to be kept aloft, where possible.  This means, wherever you can, you should keep your leg elevated, especially when at home.  That ensures your bones can set in a position that will allow faster healing.

The same goes for arms, but that’s where slings come in handy.  These will help you to keep your arm injuries out of the way of knocks or bruising.  Failure to elevate your injuries enough will only make things more painful in the long run!

Consider how often and how long you need to be on your feet.  In many cases, you can wear moon boots if you need to go out and about.  These are very useful if you need to keep working, and in an environment that demands you to stand for long periods.  Once again, you can doubly protect yourself with a cast cover to protect against dirt and debris.

You may even benefit from using a shoe balancer to help get around and to elevate your injury.  Products such as an Even Up shoe balancer can help you in this regard on a temporary basis.


Wiggle Often!

There are going to be times when your cast feels tight or pinching.  You may even suffer from swelling.  Therefore, to keep blood flowing, you should make sure to wiggle your fingers and toes regularly.  Doing this while elevating will also ensure that your blood flow can keep from pooling.

Swelling, or oedema, occurs when blood pools.  It can happen if you don’t drain blood away from your extremities.  Keep things elevated, and wiggle often, to make sure you don’t swell up or get too uncomfortable.


Keep Things Dry

Woman in swimming pool keeping her cast dry

This is something all doctors and specialists will tell you at the point of cast fitting.  You must never get your cast wet!  Soaking or even just splashing a cast could help to make it weaker.  That means you will risk slowing down the healing process.  Ultimately, bones in your legs and arms will lose support.

Casts exist to offer support and elevation.  Without this support, injuries and breaks will simply fester.  That could lead to additional pain, infection, and a slower healing process for you.  To avoid this, one of the best things you can do is keep things as dry as possible.

But we all need to bathe!  You can’t avoid a bath or a shower forever.  Casts often require wearing for weeks or even months at a time depending on the injury in question.  Therefore, you will need to come up with a strategy for ensuring your injuries are kept clear of any liquid.

You could switch to sponge bathing for ease – where you use a cloth instead of submerging yourself in any kind of water.  However, a more comfortable option may be to buy a cast cover.

Waterproof cast covers are airtight and lockout water from all angles.  This means that you could comfortably wear a cover while in the bath, taking a shower, or even swimming.  Of course, with the latter, you should be careful when moving broken arms and legs around too much.  Therefore, if you do want to start swimming again, make sure you consult a doctor or specialist in the first instance.

If you do get things wet, and you don’t have a cover, don’t try and fashion one yourself.  Contact a doctor or head to the hospital as soon as you can.


Ease Up on Toiletries

It’s also an excellent idea to avoid using beauty or bathing products at all near a cast.  These might include deodorants, sprays, or even talcum powder.  All, ultimately, could cause casts to get damp or dirty.  You may worry about your cast getting smelly; however, it’s worth raising these problems with a specialist.

Smelly casts are, sadly, fairly common.  We look at how to ease a bad-smelling cast in our guide to common problems.  Simply avoid the toiletries, where possible, and make sure to contact a doctor if things get unbearable.


Avoid Scratching That Itch!

It’s safe to say that wearing casts for long periods can get very itchy indeed!  However, you should try and avoid scratching yourself.  Otherwise, you may put yourself at risk of developing sores and lesions.  In our guide to common cast problems, we look at ways you can relieve yourself of inner cast itching for the better.  For example, you might want to use a cold compress, such as ice.

Scratching a cast itch could put you straight back in the hospital, so do think twice before you get too eager!  By the time you have a cast taken off, you may have developed something nasty.


Don’t Make Any Adjustments

It’s probably tempting to readjust and refit your cast.  By this, we mean moving the padding around or making any significant changes that are likely to change the way you hold your arms and legs.  It might be tempting to get comfier, but just don’t do it!

Make sure that you leave any serious adjusting to your doctor.  Ensure that, at your next check-up, you raise any comfort issues and concerns with them directly.


Check in With Your Doctor or Specialist

nurse examining leg cast

A good idea even if you’re not having trouble looking after your cast is to check in regularly with a specialist.  They will help you with any adjustments or comfort concerns.  What’s more, if you’re healing quicker than expected, you may not have to wear your cast for too much longer!

If you’re having trouble with your cast, you should always feel free to contact a specialist.  It is never a good idea to try and remove your cast, or to cut into it!  You could be putting your injuries, wounds and overall health in peril. 





Getting used to a cast can take time.  However, looking after it shouldn’t be too difficult.  Simply keep it clean, dry and elevated – and choose a fantastic cast cover to protect it even further!  You’ll have cast care down to a fine art in no time.


Further Support and Guidance

Please note that the above guide is advisory only and should not replace any medical support or guidance.  We recommend asking any questions you may have regarding your cast and injury during consultations.  Do always take care with your cast, and never over-exert yourself.


However, if you are interested in buying a cast cover, there are plenty of great choices available online.  Why not take a look at our range, or call our team for more information?




Customer Testimonials

We've helped thousands of people find relief while they are recuperating and we're an ACC approved vendor. 
Meet a few of our customers and see how Cast Covers has impacted their recovery:

'"We have just returned from a 2 week holiday in Rarotonga. Before we left our 8-year-old daughter fell off her scooter and broke both bones in her arm. This was a huge blow for us as our holiday was all booked and we were nearly packing to leave. I went online and google searched cast covers and thankfully you guys came up! I was absolutely blown away by how amazing this product was … no more plastic bags, yay !!! Our girl was able to enjoy the holiday just like the rest of us, even diving and jumping into the pool and snorkelling out in the lagoon for hours on end. We have just had her cast removed but will be holding onto this wee gem for the future, thanks so much!!!  I can’t stress enough how awesome your product is. Even after using it every day for 6 weeks in plaster it’s still in absolutely pristine condition." 

Jenna Sayer, Queenstown

" I would just like to congratulate you not only on the great service, but also the great product i.e. Waterproof Protector. My wife received hers yesterday, she has been suffering from an ulcer on the lower part of her leg which has required heavy bandaging twice a week for some time, and today had the first carefree shower that she has been able to have for many weeks. We will both be eternally grateful for this great product. Thank you so very much."

Neville & Dian Butler

"Just wanted to drop you a line to let you know how I am going with my evenup. 

I have been using it every day since going from a cast into a moonboot and honestly do not know what I would do without it! Although I am still uneven due to my moonboot having a particularly large sole to it, the evenup at least reduces the strain on my other Achilles’ tendon and my hips and back. 

I have been interested to observe that few physiotherapists are even aware these are available and are very impressed with the concept on seeing mine." 
Louise Manders

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