What are Scabs?
Scabs are crusty layers that develop over wounds. They form when the usual process of blood clotting around the damaged skin hardens and turns into a hard layer on the wound. Scabs protect the wound from infections and germs by covering the flesh and letting the healing process go on without any intrusion from germs, bacteria or other sources. Scabs are usually formed within a few hours as a barrier that protects the inner flesh from infections.
It is not advisable to remove a scab if you want the would to heal naturally, but sometimes infections do break out and in such situations it is advisable to remove it so pus wouldn’t accumulate underneath or over the wound.
Be cautious, though, when removing it, to avoid pain.
Here are a couple of tips that can help removing the scab safely and without any pain:
How to Safely Remove a Scab
You can moisten the scab by washing it with soap and water. This will soften it and make it easier to remove. You can also use a clean cloth that has been dampened in a diluted solution of vinegar and water and it will make the scab damp and soft. Once the scab gets soft, clean your hands with soap and water and peel it off slowly and carefully. Wash the skin wound with soap and water and use a topical antibiotic to fight the infection.
Should I remove Scabs?
Do not remove the scab unless there is an infection. If the scab really itches, which can happen sometimes, use an anti itch cream instead of removing the scab altogether and ruining the healing process underneath it.
It is also a good idea to use an antibacterial cream on top of the scab, but make sure that you are spreading the cream evenly and wash the ointment off few times a day. Keep the scab dry as excess ointment will make the scab soft and it can fall off.
Should I cover a Scab?
The scab should not be covered. It is enough to clean it and keep it dry. Covering the wound is only advisable if it is bleeding, oozing or infected. If none of these things are happening then it is best to keep the scab clean, dry and uncovered. Also if the scab is on your face then do not put make up on it as it would add to the chances of it turning into a scar.