Caring for Your Unna’s Boot at Home

There are some important things you need to do to properly care for your Unna's boot between visits with your provider.

Keep Your Unna's Boot Dry

  • It is important to keep your Unna's boot dry. Getting your Unna's boot wet can cause it to become damaged and lead to complications with your wound and skin.
  • Avoid any activities that could result in your Unna's boot getting wet.
  • Wrap your Unna's boot in a plastic bag when you shower or bathe. Use heavy tape or rubber bands to secure the plastic so that water won't leak in. You may also purchase a waterproof cast protector from the drug store or other retail stores. These are available for arms or legs and have rubber seals that don't require tape to secure. Commercial cast protectors are reusable over the entire course of treatment or until they get torn or punctured. Patients who are small may find the arm protectors are a better fit for their legs to avoid excess material that could create a fall hazard.
  • Bathe or shower in the quickest amount of time possible to reduce the risk of inadvertent Unna's boot contact with water. DO NOT soak in a bath.
  • Cover the Unna's boot with a waterproof cast cover or plastic bag secured with tape before traveling outdoors during inclement weather.
  • If your Unna's boot gets wet, use a blow dryer on the COOL setting to dry it as quickly as possible. DO NOT use anything other than the lowest and coolest setting on the blow dryer, or you could burn your skin. Call your provider if the Unna's boot has not dried within 24-hours.

Additional Measures for Home Care

  • Do not insert objects down into your Unna's boot to try to scratch your skin. This could lead to objects getting stuck in your Unna's boot and causing cuts and subsequent infections under the Unna's boot.
  • Cover any rough edges of the Unna's boot with cloth tape. You can buy this at a drugstore or other retail stores.
  • Do not cut, tear, or try to remove the Unna's boot yourself unless directed by your provider.
  • An Unna's boot is a semi-rigid dressing that requires ambulation to engage your calf muscle pump and effectively reduces swelling. Try not to sit or stand in the same position for more than 30-minutes at a time.
  • Elevate your legs as often as possible during the day to help reduce swelling.
  • Make sure you keep your follow-up appointment with your provider.

Emergency Care

  • Your Unna's boot becomes painful and feels tighter than it was initially
  • You notice your skin is turning blue or pale
  • Your skin begins to tingle or burn
  • Your skin becomes cold or numb
  • Your Unna's boot gets damaged
  • You develop a fever greater than 101

Contact your wound provider if you have any questions or concerns about your care or treatment plan.