Experience with Unna's paste over a period of 43 years has shown that it has
great healing properties for patients
with chronic leg ulcers from different causes apart from ischaemic ulcers.
The paste may be used without preparation or following warming. It may be
direcly applied to the ulcer and then the
ulcer is dressed or the paste may be applied to the dressing first. This
latter is mandatory if the paste is
warmed before being applied.
The dressing is wrapped by an elastic pressure bandage and left for a
variable period usually 5 days to a week;
but it may be removed after 3 days or be left for upto 10 days. The choice
depends on the degree of infection
present and the size of the ulcer. Larger ulcers and those with more severe
infection require dressings at shorter
The constituents of the paste are published in the British Pharmacopaeia 1948, page 211 (It consists essentially of
zinc oxide and glycerine):
Gelatin of Zinc
Synonym. Unna's Paste.
Zinc oxide, finely sifted . . . . . 150 g.
Gelatin, cut small . . . . . . 150 g.
Glycerin . . . . . . . 350 g.
Distilled Water . . . . . . 350 ml.
or a sufficient quantity
Soak the Gelatin in the Distilled Water, until thoroughly softened;
add the Glycerin, and heat on a water bath, until the Gelatin is dis-
solved; adjust the weight if necessary, to 850g. by the addition of
Distilled Water. Incorporate the Zinc Oxide, and stir, until about
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