When getting a cast for the first time, a lot of things go through your mind. It can make you feel self-conscious and awkward figuring out how to eat, walk, and continue your daily routine with a cast on.
One of the most common concerns is how to take a shower with a cast.
The problem isn’t only about your limited mobility with a cast. It also gets confusing what you can and can’t do with your cast.
Can you get your cast wet in the shower? If not, how can you shower with a cast on?
We’ve got some tips and suggestions to help you make the best out of your time showering with a cast.
Is It Okay to Get Your Cast Wet?
Casts help support your injured limb or broken bone as it heals. It also serves as protection to ensure an efficient and speedy recovery. If you are wearing a cast, it’s smart to keep it clean and dry to speed up healing.
Most would tell you to avoid getting it wet at all costs, and that’s where hopping in the shower can be challenging. Your cast is placed to immobilize the injury site for faster healing, but getting the cast wet can weaken it. Once the cast softens and loosens, it will no longer be as effective.
Moreover, wet casts can pose many issues, including skin irritation that can lead to severe itching, mildew, infections, and skin damage. If the cast gets too wet, you’ll need a cast replacement, and that can be an expensive repair.
What About Waterproof Casts?
Yes, there are waterproof casts, which seems like a more straightforward solution. But before asking to get a waterproof cast on, there are a couple of things you need to know:
- Waterproof casts are not 100% waterproof. Instead, they are water-resistant cast liners often used with a fiberglass cast.
- You can shower and even swim with it without issues, but it is a lot more expensive than the typical plaster cast.
- While waterproof casts efficiently wick moisture to keep the padding intact even when showering, they take hours to dry. Until the liner dries, it can feel uncomfortable as if you’re wearing a wet sock.
Whether you can or cannot get your cast wet will depend on what type of cast you have on. But in general, they are meant to stay dry to avoid any complications.
How to Shower With a Cast
Before you even think of hopping into the shower with a cast on, it’s essential to waterproof it to avoid the cast getting wet.
It’s probably going to be awkward and annoying while the cast is on, but luckily, there are many ways to keep the frustration away when showering with a cast.
Showering With a Cast on Your Arm
There are a few simple solutions to showering with a cast on your arm, and you don’t need to have any special wrap or equipment for it.
- Ensure Careful Positioning
Carefully positioning your arm cast away from the shower or the running water is the simplest way to keep it dry while you are showering. It’s a workable method if you have a cast on your arm or wrist, but probably accident-prone for leg casts.
- Use a Flexible Showerhead
Another simple way to shower with a cast is to use a flexible showerhead. It’s much easier to maneuver so you can shower without getting your injured limb wet.
- Invest in a Cast Cover
Wearing a cast cover is similar to wearing a long sleeve or sock made from a waterproof material. The waterproof cast covers are available in different lengths and sizes to accommodate various leg and hand sizes.
Showering With a Leg Cast
Compared to showering with a cast on your arm, a leg cast is more challenging to work with. Carefully positioning your leg cast out of the direct water stream can be a real struggle, but here’s a simple guide to work around it.
- Take a shower while seated with your injured leg raised.
Bring two chairs into the shower, one for you to sit on and the other to keep your injured leg raised. It’s the safest way to shower while avoiding getting your leg cast soaked. Alternatively, consider investing in a shower bench.
- Use a Flexible Showerhead.
Using a handheld shower hose is also a trick you can use when showering with a leg cast.
When using this method, it’s also important to remember to dry yourself while sitting down before getting out of the shower to avoid excess water slipping under the cast.
Showering With a Cast On Your Foot
If you want to shower with a cast on your foot, following the same steps when showering with a leg cast is your safest bet.
Waterproofing Your Cast for a Shower
Even if you have a waterproof cast, you won’t go wrong with having the extra protection. Wherever you have the cast on, waterproofing it before jumping right into the shower can ensure it stays dry for less chance of skin irritation and infection.
- Buy a Cast Cover
The easiest option is to purchase a cast cover. Usually, a cast cover is a long sleeve or sock made of a waterproof material sealed at one end. Waterproof cast covers are available in different sizes to accommodate different leg and cast sizes.
If you want other options, there are a couple of DIY waterproofing tricks for your cast to keep it dry while you shower. Here are a few things you can use, which you probably already have at home.
- Use Plastic Wrap
One of the typical DIY waterproofing for casts is using plastic wrap or cling film. It’s as easy as wrapping your cast with the plastic until it’s tightly sealed. The see-through plastic also makes it easier to spot any possible leak.
When using this method, you’ll want to ensure that you go over your cast area as many times as possible to create a thick watertight layer to protect your cast from water.
- Use Plastic Bags
Another option is to use whatever plastic bags you have lying around. But before using this DIY method and jumping into the shower, make sure that the plastic you’re using doesn’t have any tear. Using thicker and sturdier plastic bags is also recommended.
Wrap the plastic around your cast or slip it on if you have the cast on your wrist or foot, then seal it shut with a strong tape. You can use duct tape, but avoid sticking it to your skin. You can also use medical tapes or a thick rubber band to secure the plastic bag in place.
- Use Long Gloves
You can also use long gloves to keep your arm cast dry while showering. Dishwashing gloves work well for a cast on your wrist, but if you need something longer, you can get a pair of gynecology or vet gloves. They can stretch up to your upper arm and shoulder, and remember to tape them in place with a strong and waterproof tape or a rubber band.
Keep Your Cast Dry in the Shower
The bottom line is you have to keep your cast away from water at all costs, which can be a challenge when going for a shower.
Fortunately, there are tons of ways to keep your cast dry in the shower. Securing it with simple waterproof materials you have at home and a strong adhesive tape or rubber band can keep your cast safe from water and moisture.