Getting a cast on your foot or ankle is a great way to treat a broken or fractured bone. Not only does it prevent the foot from moving around, it sets the foot in the right direction to heal in an optimal way. Casts are generally made out of plaster and acrylic and come in many different colors. Generally, when a cast is placed, it is usually for a period of at least 6-8 weeks. In other instances, the cast can stay on for a longer period of time, depending on the injury sustained. Without a cast, people would have a hard time successfully recovering from a traumatic injury. Although casts are great for healing, they can also become a nuisance. Not only do they make it hard to bathe or shower, the skin underneath can become very itchy to the person who is wearing it.
Admittedly, there are few things more maddening than having an itch that can’t be scratched. People with casts have been known to improvise a variety of tools to reach and eliminate the itch: pens, popsicle sticks, rulers, coat hangers and other household items. Sometimes people even blow inside their cast in hopes of lessening an itch.
The problem is that these approaches can create an even worse problem. If a foreign object breaks the skin, there’s a good chance the wound will get infected. And, because the infection is concealed by a cast, it may not be readily apparent to the person.
The best way to treat the itch is to find safe ways to dry the moisture under the cast. Talcum powder can be very effective, though a tight cast might make it hard to deliver to the itch. Another recommendation is a hair dryer on the cool setting. This will dry out the area and, hopefully, relieve the itch. It is critically important to set the hair dryer to the coolest setting; otherwise, there’s a risk that you will suffer from serious burns. Benadryl can also help control the itch. Benadryl doubles as a sleep aid and can help people avoid scratching in their sleep.
If you choose to ignore these words of caution, you could acquire an infection under your cast and need a whole new cast. Itched until you think you may have created a new problem? Call your podiatrist right away to be sure that no infection has occurred. If you don’t already have a podiatrist, call Joseph Stuto, DPM of Brooklyn, New York. There Dr. Joseph A. Stuto and Joseph C. Stuto will examine your cast and determine whether it needs to come off to treat underlying wounds. Call 718-624-7537 and make an appointment today.