Pressure Garment Information
for Burn Patients
Pressure garments are worn after a burn to
control scarring, to help the scar mature, and to
improve the appearance of your injured skin.
This is done by putting direct pressure on the
skin; thus, the garments need to fit tightly in
order to work well. Burn scars mature in 9
months to 3 years. These garments will need to
be worn for at least 6 months and perhaps as
long as 2 – 3 years. Your doctor will decide
when you can stop wearing the garments.
Measuring and Fitting
Custom pressure garments are made to fit each
person. This requires exact measuring of the
body parts to be covered. Many colors and
options exist to help make wearing them more
pleasant. Only with a change in height or
weight, or when there has been a large decrease
in swelling of arms or legs would you need to
be measured again with later orders. The fitter
should be told if this is needed. A garment that
fits too tightly will cause numbness, tingling,
and sometimes pain. If any of these symptoms
occur, remove the garment and call your fitter.
A garment that is too loose will have wrinkles,
and will be of little benefit to you. Inform the
fitter at once if you think your garments do not
fit. Always bring the garments with you to
your clinic visits so that we can check their fit.
Wear and Care
Garments need to be worn 7 days a week, 23 –
24 hours daily. They are removed for bathing
and if they interfere with therapy. During the
first week or two of wearing the pressure
garment, it is common to have blisters and skin
breakdown over areas of new skin. If this
occurs, call your fitter, stop wearing the
garments for 2 – 3 days until the open areas
heal, and then resume wearing them.
Garments should be washed every day by hand
in warm water and mild soap (Ivory®, Dove®,
Dial®) and allowed to drip dry. It is a good idea
to have two complete sets of garments so that a
clean set is always ready to wear and provide
constant pressure on the burn scars. Garments
often last 2 – 3 months before stretching out.
They are of no help if they are stretched out and
do not fit snugly. Order new garments 2 – 3
weeks in advance to have good fitting garments
at all times. Call us at (608) 263-7502 to
reorder. If you receive garments in the mail
that do not fit or are defective, they can be
returned and replaced. Most companies will do
this free of charge if told of the problem within
7 – 10 days.
It Is Up to You!
If you wear the garments as prescribed, you
should have softer, smoother scars. The
garments will not make your skin normal, but
they will help you achieve the best outcome.
Shortly after your burn and until the scar
matures, the pressure garment is helpful in
reducing scarring. Beyond this time, the
garment will not help.
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 6/2016 University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#4610.