A cast is like a big bandage tied around the area of broken bones which keep it in place and prevents abnormal movement of the affected bone. This helps in healing. There are two layers in a cast -- the first layer consists of soft cotton and is the inner layer which rests on the skin.
The hard outer layer of the cast is the one which prohibits movement of the broken bone.
The casts become hard due to soaking of the bandage in Plaster of Paris. Casts made of synthetic materials come in various colors and patterns for you to choose from. Generally, fiberglass or plastic is used. Waterproof casts are available in the market which enables you to even enjoy swimming if possible.
Generally, the broken bone is kept under cast for about a month or two depending on the seriousness of the fracture.
Casts made of plaster of Paris need to be kept dry. Care should be taken that water does not enter the inner layer containing cotton. Never place any objects under the cast. Trim the rough edges with emery board but do not attempt breaking these edges. If the cast causes itching, point a hair dryer and blow cool air on the cast. You may also take some medications like Benadryl after consulting a doctor. If the cast breaks, cracks or becomes lose, visit the doctor for a check up. In case you find your skin is too itchy or has red spots or rashes, bring it to the notice of your doctor.
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