A cast made from plaster or fiberglass helps the injured bone heal quickly by holding it in place. One of the main problems of having a cast is the intense itch that develops underneath. Sometimes, redness, swelling, blistering, sores, bleeding and skin color changes can also arise under the cast. Young children often insert sharp objects underneath their casts to relieve itching. However, this is a rather dangerous thing to do as it can cause injury and infection. Today we will study some simple remedies to stop itchy cast arm.
For severe itching, antihistamines like Benadryl can help. Cast itching Benadryl treatment is safe and gives relief from itch for at least 6 hours. Take the dosage as directed on the bottle. If this remedy does not help and the itching gets worse, contact your orthopedic doctor.
2. Blow cool air
Blow some cool air inside the cast through its opening. The cool air immediately tops itching under cast after surgery. Sit under a fan or use a hair dryer on its cool setting. This will soothe the skin and stop irritation. Prevent the child from inserting sharp objects like pens or pencils inside the cast. This can make matters worse.
3. Gauze strip
For the next appointment, ask your doctor to use a gauze strip under the cast and between the cast and the skin. Allow a bit of the gauze to come out of the open end of the cast. Moving this end back and forth can help relieve itching. Avoid pulling the padding out of the cast-it is there in place to protect you. Some doctors are known to use moleskin under a fiberglass cast to prevent irritation and itching along the edges. You can ask for some extra moleskin to apply yourself in case the first one falls off or gets dirty.
4. Keep the cast clear from dirt, debris etc
For the entire duration you have the cast, make sure you keep it away from irritants like dust, sand, debris etc. This is essential to prevent itching. As stated above, do not insert rulers or other sharp objects in the cast. These will allow bacteria to enter inside the cast and cause secondary skin infections.
5. Keep it dry
Avoid bathing for as long as you have the cast. You can take sponge baths or at least cover the cast in heavy duty plastic bags when bathing. Also tie a hand-towel at the opening to prevent water from getting inside the cast. If your cast does get wet, use a hair dryer on it to dry it out. Use the coolest setting of the dryer. If this method does not dry the cast, you must call your orthopedic office to have a new cast on. Wet cast can increase itching and may not be able to hold the bone together.
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6. Wiggle your fingers/toes
Wiggling the fingers and toes can prevent swelling and increase blood circulation. This can prevent itching as well.
7. Do not use powders or deodorant sprays in the cast
If the itching gets severe, people often spray deodorants or sprinkle powders inside the cast. Avoid this strictly. These things do not help and can even worsen the itch. Hydrocortisone creams can also ball up and are difficult to apply under the cast.
8. Try changing positions
Changing positions or raising the leg or arm with the cast could, to some extent, prevent itch.
9. Avoid insertion of sharp objects at all costs!
As stated repeatedly, avoid inserting sharp objects inside the cast no matter how tempting it may be. They can lead to secondary skin infections or even cause bunching of cotton material placed under the cast. This, in turn, could result in pressure points between the cast and the skin making matters worse.
If you have severe itch, pain, bleeding or a foul odor coming from the cast, make an appointment with your orthopedic doctor to have it checked out.