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Health Tip: Taking Care of a Cast

Keep it dry and clean

(HealthDay News) -- Broken bones are typically set in a cast, applied by a doctor and made of fiberglass or plaster. Casts usually need to be worn for four-to-six weeks, but it may be shorter or longer depending on your injury.

It's important to take care of your cast so the bone heals properly, says the University of Michigan Health System. The cast needs to stay dry, so you'll probably need to take baths rather than showers, and wash with a sponge or washcloth. A plastic bag should be wrapped around the cast to protect it.

Even if it itches, never stick any object inside your cast, as you may pierce the skin and cause an infection. Sprinkling talcum power inside may soothe the itching.

Talk to your doctor before engaging in physical activity. You should avoid contact sports, riding a bike, rollerblading or skateboarding. If your leg or ankle is broken, your doctor may want you to use crutches and avoid putting pressure on the injury.

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