Discharge Instructions: Unna Boot

You will be going home with an Unna boot in place. An Unna boot is a dressing and wrap combination that is applied from your foot to your knee. An Unna boot has a special medicine in the gauze that will help heal burns or skin sores and protect new skin. There are 2 kinds of bandages. A white bandage is changed every 1 to 3 days. In most cases, the pink one is changed once a week. You will need to visit your doctor to have the Unna boot changed. Here's what you need to know about home care.

Home care

  • Remember, it is normal to have some drainage from the Unna boot dressing. Don’t be alarmed if the drainage smells bad. The dressing pulls drainage from the wound into the dressing. The odor you smell is from the dressing, not the wound.

  • Don’t get your Unna boot wet.

    • Take a sponge bath to avoid getting your Unna boot wet, unless your healthcare provider tells you otherwise.

    • Ask your provider when can you take a shower or bathe.

    • Ask your provider about the best way to keep your Unna boot dry when bathing or showering.

  • Keep the rest of your skin clean.

  • Every day, wash any other burns or sores not covered by a dressing.

  • Avoid standing or sitting in the same position for more than 30 minutes at a time.

  • Keep your legs elevated as much as possible.


Make a follow-up appointment with your healthcare provider, or as advised. 


When to call your healthcare provider

Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of these:

  • Tingling or numbness in the injured body part

  • Severe pain that cannot be relieved

  • A fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher, or as advised

  • Swelling, coldness, or blue-gray color in the fingers or toes

  • Unna boot that feels too tight or too loose

  • Unna boot that is damaged or has rough edges that hurt

  • Unna boot that gets wet

  • Drainage from Unna boot dressing that smells different than usual