Remember Unna Boots?

Angie Szumlinski Health, Studies

A venous leg ulcer (VLU), also known as a varicose ulcer, stasis ulcer, or phlebostatic ulcer, is the most common ulcer of the leg, accounting for about 70% of all ulcerations. The clinical features of VLUs include increased skin temperature of the lower extremities, edema, varicose veins, and skin changes, such as stasis eczema, skin sclerosis, and hyperpigmentation.

In 1882, German dermatologist Paul Gerson Unna developed a zinc oxide paste (Unna paste) to treat dermatitis associated with VLUs and later combined the paste with bandages (Unna boot), which became the principle of active compression therapy for VLUs. The bandage creates a high counter-pressure during walking and maintains a low resting pressure. Compression therapy is considered the gold standard for the treatment of venous disease in many countries. It significantly increases the healing rate of VLUs and reduces the risk of recurrence.

A study was conducted to identify “why” clinicians have moved away from this very effective treatment. It identified that learning how to apply the Unna boot can be time-consuming and requires a trained professional. The researchers developed a manual to provide appropriate guidelines on the technique of applying the Unna boot to improve the education and training of health professionals in the control of VLUs. The content of the manual was validated by health professionals specialized in wound care who provided important suggestions for improving the manual. For more information on the manual and Unna boots, please click the link below. Stay well, roll up your sleeve, and stay tune!