The Unna boot is a compression dressing that can be used to protect an open wound, decrease swelling and pain and/or stimulate the flow of blood in the lower leg. It consists of layers of gauze wrapped around the leg and foot. Unna boots are named after Dr. Paul Gerson Unna, a German dermatologist who specialized in skin diseases. They have been used for almost 200 years.
What Is It Used to Treat?
Unna boots are used to treat edemas, sores and ulcers. They are typically used to treat wounds with mild to moderate drainage, and they can be used with hydrogel dressings. They are more likely to be used for active and mobile patients rather than patients who are bed-ridden or in a wheelchair.
How Is It Applied?
Applying an Unna boot is an outpatient procedure that can be performed in our office. Our medical professional will simply wrap a special type of zinc oxide-impregnated gauze around the patient’s leg. The patient should sit with their leg raised above the heart for about 20 minutes before the application to reduce swelling. The leg should be clean and dry.
The boot will feel tight at first, but it will loosen somewhat after the patient begins walking. The medical professional will change the Unna boot at least once a week.
Other Things to Consider
Depending on the condition being treated, a patient may wear an Unna boot for weeks. They will wear it for two more days after their swelling fades. During that time, they need to keep the boot dry. The doctor will advise the patient on how to protect the boot while bathing or showering. The patient should be able to wear normal socks and shoes with an Unna boot.
The patient should walk every day for exercise for a given amount of time. Doing so will improve blood flow and help the boot to compress.
Could the Unna Boot Help You?
If you are experiencing severe leg swelling, we encourage you to learn more about the Unna boot from our professionals at Peripheral Vascular Associates. This treatment is also extremely effective when venous stasis ulcers exist.
Our office has five clinics in the San Antonio area, proudly serving the following Texas cities: San Antonio, Corpus Christi, Boerne, Floresville, Del Rio, Jourdanton, Hondo, Uvalde and New Braunfels. Contact us today to schedule your consultation to learn more about how the Unna boot can benefit you.