How to Keep a Cast Dry in the Shower

Keep water out of your cast when showering or bathing

If you have a broken bone, it is quite likely that you have a cast -- and that you face the big challenge of trying to bathe or shower while keeping your cast dry. Here, some ideas for keeping your cast dry so you can and still keep yourself clean.

One tip not to try? Don't try to shower by holding the cast out of the way. Water will inevitably drip down your arm or leg, soaking the cast's padding. Even if you plan on holding your cast out of the path of the water, find something to cover it.  Wet casts can cause a number of problems including bad odors, skin problems, and discomfort.

1
Plastic Bag

plastic bag
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A newspaper bag is often the perfect size plastic bag to cover your cast. Other good options are bread bags or small trash bags. These can be sealed at the top either with some tape or a rubber band. A rubber band allows the bag to be reused, and it is also much gentler on your skin. Be sure to check the bag for holes, and do not try to submerge the cast.

2
Plastic Wrap

plastic wrap
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Plastic wrap can be used to cover a cast, although it must be wrapped tightly. Take special care to ensure a good seal around the top of the cast. This method may leave gaps where water can seep through, but it is an inexpensive and easy method to cover the cast. Using a rubber band at the top of the cast can help ensure the seal will not leak. Again, refrain from submerging the cast in water, as the seal may not be as tight as you hope.

3
Cast Covers

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Several companies make sleeves specifically designed to cover your cast. The sleeves often include a pump that sucks the air out from under the cover, forming a tight seal against the arm or leg. Cast covers come in different sizes, and seem to work very well. They are much more durable than other options, and therefore unlikely to tear. These should stay dry even when completely submerged underwater.  While it may seem like a more significant cost than a simple plastic bag, they are much more durable and more more likely to be effective at keeping all of the water out! Buy from Amazon »

4
Waterproof Cast Material

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Some cast materials are made to withstand getting wet.  While these don't make the cast truly waterproof, they are able to withstand getting wet, without causing damage to the cast.  These waterproof materials work well for kids, especially in the summer months.  There are several types of waterproof cast material, some seem to work better than others.  I usually tell patients to try to only get the cast wet infrequently, because even though the material can withstand being wet, it can take a long time to completely dry out.  Therefore some people still choose to use a cover, even when they have a waterproof cast. More »

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