Pressure garments

What is a pressure garment?

A Pressure Garment is a tight lycra piece of clothing made to your measurements, to provide constant pressure over an area of your body.

Why do I have to wear it?

Pressure Garments limit the growth of scar tissue by exerting constant pressure over the scar. The pressure helps to keep collagen fibres in the scar flat. You have been given a pressure garment to treat your raised or firm scar.

How long will I have to wear it for?

A Pressure Garment can be used until a scar has matured, this may take between 18-24 months but this can be longer, or shorter. Your Therapist will discuss when it is time to start reducing the use of your Pressure Garment.

When should I wear it?

A Pressure Garment is more effective the more it is worn. You can wear your Pressure Garment during the day and at night time. Take it off when you are treating your scar with massage or to apply silicone and when you are washing.

How do I wash it?

Pressure Garments should be hand washed. Pressure garments can be cool washed (400 or less) with mild, non-biological detergent once a week. Hand washing makes them last longer. Air dry the garment, do not put it in a tumble dryer or on a radiator as this breaks the elastic in the material and makes the garment ineffective. Clean your garments regularly to prevent build-up of cream/silicone.

Can I have another one?

You will be fitted with one Pressure Garment at your hospital appointment. A spare garment will then be posted to you. Adults will be issued with new garments after 3 months, children after 2 months (occasionally sooner if the child grows out of the garment). If you do not have a review booked for 3 months you will need to contact Burns Therapy to request replacement garments.

Please contact the therapy department if you do not receive garments in the post within one month or if there is a problem with the garment.

What should I do if the seams of my pressure garment have broken, the elastic has stretched or my pressure garment no longer fits?

Contact Burns Therapy for advice. You will need to return the garment to Burns Therapy for mending. DO NOT alter your garments yourself, the pressure has been carefully calculated by specially trained Pressure Garment Technicians.

Will my Pressure Garment protect me from the sun?

No. Your Pressure Garment has no UV protection in it. You will need to protect your scar if you are outside in direct sunlight by covering it or applying factor 50+ sun cream.

Further details

Please bring your pressure garments with you when you attend burns therapy appointments so they can be reviewed and altered if needed.

If you experience any of the following after putting on your Pressure Garment contact the Burns Therapy Team:

  • Increased soreness or breakdown of skin
  • Change in circulation such as blueness or swelling
  • Abnormal sensation or pins and needles.

If this is out of hours remove your garment until you have received advice.

This leaflet is intended as a guide to answer some of the questions you may have about Pressure Garments. Please follow the specific advice given to you by your Burns Therapist. This will occasionally be different to the standard advice given here.


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