Unna Boot, also known as Unna’s Boot is a compressed dressing which is usually made of cotton used to wrap around the legs for various treamtments. This dressing or bandage contains Zinc Oxide paste impregnated into the rolled gauze which helps in treating burns and sores. There are quite a few types of Unna Boots available in the market. Some of them contain glycerin while others contain calamine lotion instead of the Zinc Oxide. However, the most common type of Unna Boot is the one containing a Zinc Oxide paste applied to the whole bandage. The zinc oxide present in the bandage aids the healing process and helps in keeping the affected area moist.
This dressing was made by a German dermatologist Paul Gerson Unna who was a specialist in diagnosing and treating skin related problems, this is why this bandage is named after him and is known as Unna’s Boot. As its name suggests this bandage is used for legs which can be wrapped easily around the ankle, calf or foot. People having any skin problems on their legs, calves or feet can make use of Unna’s Boot after consulting with their physicians.
What treatment is Unna Boot used for?
Usually an Unna Boot dressing is used for treating leg ulcers, edema and skin related problems of the leg and feet. Burns, cuts and other venous insufficiencies of the leg are some of the other ailments which can be treated by the use of these boots. Because an Unna boot applies a pressure of about 20-30mmHg on the skin which is why it is suitable for treating a number of skin related problems. Besides being used for the treatment of skin diseases the Unna Boots can be used as supportive bandages for sprains and strains of the lower leg, ankle and foot.
For the treatment of venous leg ulcers, a Gelocast Unna Boot is prescribed by the physicians. The Gelocast Unna Boot provides a firm pressure to the wound and contains a mixture of zinc oxide paste and calamine lotion in it. This type of dressing is much easier to apply and remove and does not decompose or dissolve easily.
The Unna Boot application should be done very carefully keeping in mind that the dressing should not be applied directly on to a continuously draining Ulcer. In case of a continuously draining ulcer always apply a foam pad before the Unna Boot application so that the drainage is soaked up by the foam and does not affect the bandage. Start wrapping the dressing in a circular fashion starting from the legs and stopping just below the knee. Make sure that there are no creases or wrinkles on the Unna boot when you are done wrapping it around the affected area. An Unna Boot dressing can be kept on for about a week but no longer than that.
The Unna Boot contraindications include that it cannot be used by people who have wounds having tunneling because for such wounds this type of dressing is not going to have any effect. Other Unna Boot contraindications are that they are less effective for people who are unable to move freely and are confined to a wheel-chair.
Here’s a video showing Unna Boot application
Filed under: Unna boot
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