What is a Unna Boot?

An Unna Boot is a type of compression bandage that is specifically designed to treat and manage venous leg ulcers. It consists of a layer of zinc-impregnated, semi-rigid gauze wrapped around the affected leg, followed by an outer layer of cohesive compression bandage.

What is the purpose of an Unna Boot?

The purpose of an Unna Boot is to provide sustained, therapeutic compression to the lower leg, which helps improve venous circulation, reduce swelling, and promote the healing of venous ulcers. Here are some key benefits and functions of a Unna Boot:


The primary purpose of an Unna Boot is to apply compression to the affected leg. The bandage provides consistent and graduated pressure, typically ranging from 20-30 mmHg, which helps to reduce venous congestion and increase blood flow toward the heart. Compression aids in controlling edema (swelling) and enhances venous return, thereby improving overall circulation.

Healing Environment:

The zinc-impregnated gauze layer within the Unna Boot provides several benefits. Zinc is known for its antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, which help create an optimal environment for wound healing by reducing the risk of infection. The semi-rigid nature of the gauze offers support and protection to the wound site.

Moisture Management:

The gauze layer in the Unna Boot acts as a moisture barrier, helping to absorb excess exudate (fluid) from the wound and maintain an appropriate level of moisture for wound healing. It prevents the wound from becoming too dry or too moist, facilitating the healing process.


The Unna Boot offers some degree of immobilization, which helps prevent excessive movement of the affected leg. Immobilization can reduce pain and irritation, allowing the wound to heal more effectively.

Convenience and Long-lasting Effect:

The Unna Boot remains in place once applied, for an extended period (typically 1 to 2 weeks) without requiring frequent changes. This convenience reduces the need for frequent dressing changes and provides a continuous, therapeutic compression effect.

Unna Boot applications should be performed by a vascular surgeon with expertise in wound care. The bandage needs to be applied correctly, ensuring appropriate tension and coverage, to achieve optimal therapeutic benefits. Regular monitoring and assessment by a healthcare provider are essential to evaluate the progress of wound healing, adjust compression levels, and address any potential complications.

If you have a venous leg ulcer or a similar condition, consult with a vascular surgeon to determine if an Unna Boot is suitable for your situation and to receive proper guidance on its application and usage.