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Soft cast casting tape advice: bathing in them

Patient information A-Z

This leaflet has been written to help your understanding of having a soft cast and answers many commonly asked questions. If you have any other questions that the leaflet does not answer or would like more information please contact the number provided at the end of this leaflet.

Soft cast

Soft cast is a semi-rigid casting material. It offers support in the treatment of soft tissue injuries, minor injuries in adults and greenstick fractures in children. It can be applied alone or in combination with other synthetic rigid materials giving versatility, ease of use and simple removal.


Your cast has been designed to allow you to wash, bathe or swim should your doctor approve. Natural body heat will help with drying, however, warmer environments will evaporate moisture more quickly.

Flush through after swimming, let the water drain and allow to dry naturally.

Do not soak immediately before bedtime. Do not cover whilst wet.

You should allow the skin sufficient time to dry before wetting again. Therefore, please ensure that you do not continually wet your cast and limit the amount of time you spend in the pool.


Soft cast can be removed either with bandage scissors or by being unwound.

Unwrapping requires two people, one person to hold the limb still, the other to unpick the bandage end and begin to unwind down to the gauze. Once the bandage has been removed, cut the gauze and remove.

To remove with bandage scissors, cut where instructed by the clinician. Squeeze the cast to lift it away from the limb and cut along the bandage. If you are at all unsure about the removal of the cast, please contact the plaster room on the number provided at the end of this leaflet.

Please do not:

  • insert anything into the cast
  • damage the cast

Please do:

  • elevate the limb when not in use
  • keep all joints not included in the cast well exercised
  • contact the plaster room with any of the following problems
    • if an object becomes accidentally stuck inside your cast
    • fingers or toes become numb, blue, swollen or function is lost
    • pain or pins and needles
    • pressure or rubbing
    • discharge or an offensive smell

Contact details

Monday to Friday 08:30 to 17:00, telephone 01223 217772

All other times contact accident and emergency, telephone 01223 217118

Useful website: Fracture Information (opens in a new tab)

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Smoking is not allowed anywhere on the hospital campus. For advice and support in quitting, contact your GP or the free NHS stop smoking helpline on 0800 169 0 169.

Other formats

Help accessing this information in other formats is available. To find out more about the services we provide, please visit our patient information help page (see link below) or telephone 01223 256998.

Contact us

Cambridge University Hospitals
NHS Foundation Trust
Hills Road, Cambridge

Telephone +44 (0)1223 245151