How To Heal A Scab

There are ways to heal a scab to help speed up the process. Scabs are crusty dark reddish-brown spots that can mar your skin. They are a protective barrier used to keep germs away from the damaged skin underneath and give the wound a chance to heal. New skin cells are being made and blood vessels are being repaired. Regardless of their usefulness in keeping you safe, they can be ugly and embarrassing. Taking the right precautions can help speed up the healing of a scab and minimize the possibility of scarring.

  1. Clean around the scab. Gently wash the surrounding area with soap and water. Avoid getting soap on the scab which can cause irritation. Wipe the scab itself gently with a soft damp cloth. Do not scrub hard enough to cause it to fall off before it is time or it will just reform. Pat dry, instead of rubbing. Keeping the area clean will prevent infection which increases the healing time.
  2. Keep the scab moist, but not wet. Scabs heal better if they are slightly moist. Apply triple antibiotics ointment three times a day to prevent infection and give it the right amount of moisture. Vitamin E oil also keeps the scab moist and promotes cell regeneration. Keeping the scab moist will prevent it from cracking and bleeding. Avoid soaking the scab in water which will make it too wet. This could cause the scab to fall apart and allow bacteria to enter the wound. 
  3. Allow the scab to get air. If the scab is in an area that will not be bumped or scratched do not cover it. Allowing the scab to breathe will heal it much quicker. If your scab is in an area which could be bumped then a bandage is recommended. If you need to keep it bandaged allow it to stay uncovered for a few hours each day when you are not as active.  A bandage will allow the scab to soften which makes it need more time to heal.
  4. Leave the scab alone. Do not pick at or scratch the scab. Every time the scab comes off before it is ready it will extend the healing time and increase the chance of a scar. Use an antibiotic ointment with a topical analgesic to keep the scab from getting itchy.

Tip: If the scab shows no sign of healing after two weeks it may be time to see a doctor.

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