The key to an odor-free cast is moisture. If you can keep your cast dry, you will likely not have odor problems. This means keeping water out of the cast and keeping sweat from under the cast. Some suggestions for keep a cast dry include:
- Cover Your Cast
There are a number of ways to keep your cast dry and keep you clean. You can either be creative with products from around the house, or buy devices specifically made to keep your cast dry.
- Don't Play Sports
This may not be acceptable to everyone who has a cast, but if you exercise you will likely sweat under the cast. This moisture promotes bacterial and fungal growth that is the cause of bad odors.
Get a New CastIf the odor becomes a problem, call your doctor and let him or her know that you think you should have the cast looked at. Sometimes a cast cannot be removed because it is holding the bone in an important position. However, often a cast can be replaced. Furthermore, there are conditions where a cast should be removed. Odors can be a sign of a more severe skin infection under the cast, and if this is suspected, the skin should be evaluated by your doctor.
Odor Solving Ideas
- Baking Soda
A little baking soda can help to dry up some moisture and cover some of the smell of a stinky cast. Gently powder the cast with a small amount of baking soda.
Simply covering up the bad smell with a stronger, less annoying odor can help to cover up the problem smell. Obviously, dabbing a little perfume on the cast will do nothing to rid the smell under the cast, but it may help you and those around you cope with the problem.
- Fabric Softener
Taking a sheet of fabric softener and rubbing it on the cast can help in the same way perfume can cover up some of the odor. Fabric softener tends not to be as strong as perfume, so it may be more appropriate for those who don't like the scent of perfume.
- CastComfort Spray
CastComfort is a product that is made specifically for cast smells. There is nothing fancy about this product, just a talc-based spray. However, it is easy to apply to your cast, and not too expensive.
- Vacuum Suction
There is a product called a CastCooler. This product wraps around your cast and connects to a standard vacuum. The product helps to cool the skin and remove moisture under the cast. This is a safe product that seems to help with some of the common symptoms of cast annoyance.
What Not to Do!These solutions may not solve your problem, and if that is the case, see your doctor about possibly getting a new cast. Do not, under any circumstances:
- Wash a cast you were told to keep dry. There are waterproof casts, but make sure that's what you have before getting your cast wet.
- Push anything under the cast to scratch an itch. Don't stick hangars, sticks, pencils, forks or other objects under the cast. Not only can these do skin damage, but they can also pull the padding out from under the cast.