Woman enjoying the beach with a waterproof cast.

Help! My cast is hot and itchy!

Okay so its not great that you have to wear a cast or splint during summer. Even worse when it gets hot and itchy.

Here are our hot(!) top 10 ways to stay cool, calm and collected through summer without wrecking your cast or splint or interrupting your rehab.

 

 

Waterproof casts

 

  1. Waterproof fracture casts are designed to get wet each day. In addition to keeping the skin clean and fresh, this also helps to reduce itchiness. Daily rinsing helps to remove the build up of skin cells inside the cast which is the main cause of the skin irritation and the need to scratch. So don’t limit yourself – run your cast under fresh tap water or the shower at least once a day. Pat dry with a clean towel.
  2. Try very hard NOT to use a pointy object to scratch inside your cast. It’s very easy to puncture the skin which will create even more skin irritation and itchiness in there.
  3. If you have an itch, try tapping it on the outside of the cast. You can also try blowing cool air from a hair dryer around the edges of the cast.

 

Thermoplastic Splints

 

  1. If you are wearing a thermoplastic splint that we have made for you, a splint liner can be used between your skin and the splint to help reduce moisture build up. You may need to get your therapist to remould your splint to fit a splint liner comfortably in between and this is simple for us to do.
  2. Keeping your thermoplastic splint clean will reduce unwanted smells and help reduce itchiness. IF your therapist has approved for you to remove your splint for cleaning this can easily be done in a sink with lukewarm water and a gentle hand or dish soap. Pat dry with a clean towel. We recommend this every day or so in summer. Some conditions we treat require a period of full time splinting when splints may not be removed at all. In this situation, your therapist can help you out when you attend your appointments.
  3. If you are unable to remove your splint, you can waterproof it by wrapping with 2 plastic bags and sealing the edges with waterproof medical tape. Store bought cast covers are also available. This doesn’t mean you can go swimming, but is certainly helpful when showering.
  4. You can also wash your splint in your home washing machine. For best results, close the hook and loop straps, place the splint in a washing bag and wash with a mild detergent on cold cycle or below 30°C.
  5. Toothpaste has been found to be a fantastic product to rid thermoplastic splints from unwanted aromas. You can give it a try, or use regular hand wash or dishwashing liquid.
  6. Hot tip: Don’t use a heated source to dry your splint as it may cause the thermoplastic material to melt. It’s a big no no to use a hot hairdryer, clothes dryer or heater for quicker drying.
  7. In between washes it’s a great idea to wipe your splint over with a cloth inside and out, just like you would do with your laptop or keyboard.

 

young girl giving a thumbs up after have a custom splint made for her at Melbourne Hand Rehab

And one last handy hint: As we’re all constantly washing our hands at the moment, it’s ok if you get some regular hand sanitizer on your splint, but avoid any kind of rubbing alcohol.

So, from all of us at Melbourne Hand Rehab, we hope these tips make the time in your splint or cast more comfortable. Wishing you a speedy recovery.

If your cast or splint becomes uncomfortable or you have any concerns, please contact your therapist for guidance.

 

 

For more information, call us directly on 03 9458 5166