Burns: Wearing a Pressure Garment

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Burns need special care in the first 12 to 18 months. When the skin has healed, the doctor may prescribe pressure garments to reduce scarring. The burn therapist will take exact measurements and the garments will be custom-made for your child. The therapist will decide an appropriate wear schedule for your child. Two sets of pressure garments may be ordered so one may be worn while the second garment is being washed.

Daily care of the burned area

  • Wash the child’s healed burn daily with mild soap, rinse well and pat dry.
  • Apply ______________ moisturizer to the healed areas at least 3 to 5 times each day.
  • Perform scar massage and range of motion exercises as instructed by your child’s therapist.
  • Apply any necessary gel sheets or inserts (if applicable).
  • Apply pressure garment(s).

Care of the pressure garment

Wash the pressure garment every day by hand or by machine. Do not use hot water, bleach, washing solution (Woolite®), or fabric softener.

Washing instructions

Hand Wash: Soak the garment in cool water and mild soap. Rinse well with clean and cool water. Roll the garment in a towel to soak up excess water.
Machine Wash: Use mild soap or detergent and cool water on the gentle or delicate cycle.
Air-dry only. You may only use a dryer if your dryer has a completely heat-free setting. Do not put the garment in sunlight or in front of a heater.

When to call the therapist

Call your child’s therapist if:

  • The garment is too tight or is cutting into your child’s skin.
  • The garment does not fit snugly. There should be no wrinkles except for the few that you see where joints (like the elbow, ankle or wrist) are bent.
  • Swelling or redness is present. Remove the garment if the fingernails look blue, or if your child complains of tingling, burning, or the skin feeling cold.

Other information

Your doctor or therapist may suggest that you use a gel sheet or other insert under the garment to help provide proper pressure and added moisture to the burned area.
Special care is given to burns on the face, hands and feet. In these cases, your child’s doctor or therapist may suggest another type of custom-made article to be worn for added pressure.
If you have any questions or concerns, call your therapist at (614)-722-4515

HH-I-92Burns: Wearing a Pressure Garment (PDF)

HH-I-92 12/80, Revised 3/18 Copyright 1980, Nationwide Children’s Hospital