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What is an Unna Boot?

Unna Boots are compression dressings that are uniformly impregnated with non-hardening zinc oxide. The original Unna boot was invented in 1896, and it is named after German dermatologist Paul Garson Unna. Unna boots are usually made of cotton, and the zinc oxide paste soothes the irritated skin and promotes wound healing by keeping the area moist. In addition to the zinc oxide, Unna boot wraps may also contain calamine lotion, glycerine, and gelatine. Unna boots are mostly used for active people who can move on their own instead of people confined to bed or wheelchairs. Unna Boots are generally used to treat wounds with light to moderate drainage.

At Shop Wound Care, we offer Unna boot dressings that help treat venous stasis ulcers, burns, and other lower leg wounds. BSN Gelocast Unna Boot Dressing is a non-raveling gauze bandage that provides gradient compression therapy to manage venous ulcers.

When to use an Unna Boot Dressing?

Unna boot dressings are indicated for use in the following situations:

  • Light-to-moderately exuding wounds
  • Venous stasis ulcers
  • Lymphedema 
  • Strains and sprains
  • Dislocations
  • Edemas
  • Burns
  • Sores

Unna Boot contraindications

  • Acute pulmonary edema
  • Cellulitis
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Arterial insufficiency
  • Infected venous ulcers
  • Phlebitis.

How does Unna Boot Compression Therapy work?

Unna’s boot provides 20-30mmHg compression, which is useful for treating various conditions requiring gradient pressure like Lymphedema and other edemas. The compression helps improve blood flow in your lower leg. Compression helps decrease swelling and pain as well. Furthermore, the zinc oxide paste in the Unna boot help promotes wound site healing, making them useful for ulcers, burns, and open sores. The zinc oxide paste does not harden, making it a superior alternative to gelatins used in other dressings. Additionally, some Unna boots contain calamine lotion and glycerin, which reduce pain, itching, and skin irritation.

Unna Boot application guide

Unna boot dressing is applied in the following manner:

  • Healthcare professionals usually apply Unna boot wraps.
  • The patient’s affected leg is kept elevated above the heart and the foot flexed to 90 degrees to promote venous return and good ankle alignment.
  • Then the wound is covered by a layer of gauze that contains petroleum jelly.
  • Then the patient’s leg is wrapped snugly in an overlapping method starting at the base of the toes up to the knee. The first layer of gauze is soaked in lotions or medicines to promote wound healing.
  • Then one or two layers of dry gauze are applied. 
  • After that, an elastic bandage is wrapped around the leg to cover the dressing.
  • The Unna boot dressing will become stiffer as it dries. 
  • Unna boot wrap needs to be changed once every seven days. The wound site should be checked during dressing change to make sure it is healing.

Important things to consider while in an Unna’s Boot

  • Elevate your leg above the level of the heart as much as possible to decrease swelling and pain.
  • Keep the Unna boot bandage dry.
  • Do not scratch under the Unna boot, which may cause wounds.
  • Avoid prolonged sitting and standing.
  • Walk daily to help improve blood flow.
  • Consult your health care provider if there is pain, swelling, numbness, odor, change in color of the toes, drainage, or increased itching.

Where to buy Unna Boot for Lymphedema?

Shop Wound Care brings Unna boots from our top-selling vendors like BSN Medical, Convatec, and McKesson. The Unna boot dressings protect the wound and keep the wound site moist and itch-free, making healing as comfortable and quick as possible. Place an order today!

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