Most people probably have experienced cut or wounds. Of course, kids are not an exception. We are just sometimes surprised to see blood flowing from the affected area, and what’s more surprising is it gets healed on its own. Sounds mysterious?
Accidents may happen unexpectedly, and most of the time, it causes injury. No matter how hard we try to take care of ourselves, some instances will really lead us to this common problem. The injured part of your body may get wounded causing you too much pain. You may have noticed that before the cut is completely healed, a scab is formed on the affected area. It is something you should not worry because it does good things instead of harming your skin.
What are scabs?
The word “scab” was derived from the Old English word “sceabb” and Old Norse “skabb.” Both of them describes the itchy feeling on the skin.
Scabs are characterized by brown, rough crust in the skin that forms during the healing process when you got wounded. Yes, it may look irritating, but do you know that removing it can interrupt the wound from getting healed? It serves as a protective layer that prevents bacteria from entering the cut.
If you wonder what are scabs made of, they consist of blood cells that form together at the injured part. These blood cells are also referred to as platelets, characterized by tiny, colorless elements that control the bleeding. The thread-like particles called fibrin joins the blood cells together to form a clot.
Underneath the scab is cells that extract collagen, which is a useful protein that joins the tissues together. The damaged skin then becomes thicker, and as soon as it is replaced, the regenerated skin stretches under the scab which causes the itchy feel. It is a normal part of the healing phase which should excite you because that means that your skin will get healed.
Speaking of platelets, these blood cells consist of minerals like calcium and vitamin K. Because the platelets tend to break apart when exposed, the fibrin will gather them together to form the clot on the wounded area. Sometimes, the blood clot also forms under the skin surface, resulting to bluish marks.
Read More: How Platelets Help Heal Cuts
No matter how ugly it looks, scabs are critical players in order for your wound to get healed continuously. There are a lot of wonders happening under its surface. Humans have white blood cells that prevent the virus from invading the injury during the healing process. It fights the dead skin cells and eliminates them out of the affected area. While it is happening, the damaged blood cells are being repaired to bring them back to life.
Our body works mysteriously than we realize. As soon as you get wounded, your platelets will come to the rescue. Their impulsive action allows them to quickly prevent the extended amount of blood to flow from the wounded area. Now, it’s the turn of white blood cells to fight the bacteria before it snuck inside the surface.
The infected area will have pus, and exposing this area will result in more problems that may lead to infection. To prevent the infection, both the fibrin and the platelets work together by shielding the wound so the repair that is happening under the surface will not get interrupted.
Understanding the Formation of Scabs
The scabs form quickly when your skin gets cut. It is involved in the first phase of the healing process. It prevents the foreign materials from entering the wounded area.
The skin impulsively acts to build itself. For it to happen, it should prevent the flow of the blood from the wounded area. Thankfully, the blood contains proteins which are also called fibrins. These elements work with the blood platelets and plasma to form a clot, which is commonly called scab.
The blood traveling all throughout the veins transports the oxygen parts of our body. By being in its liquid state, it can also carry the nutrients that we need for us to perform our work better. Therefore, humans need blood to survive, and we should have a well-functioning system that will prevent it from flowing out of our body when we get injured.
Just imagine what will happen if scabs are not formed when we get wounded. We can use a bandage to protect it, but remember that this protective crust has natural properties that can control the blood flow naturally. Platelets will instantly move to the wounded area to form a clot.
As soon as it controls the bleeding, the scabs are being formed. It will last on your skin for several weeks depending on the depth and size of the damage caused by the cut on the surface.
In addition to the benefits of blood platelets in the formation of a scab, it also works with the collagen fibers to create a protective layer organically. It is then called a platelet plug. This clotting leads to the formation of fibrin, a useful thread-like substance that also contributes to the trapping of red blood cells during the healing process.
It is therefore essential to increase the level of your blood platelets. Its production leads to the stimulation of the cellular growth. As a result, the damaged cells are being repaired under the skin surface. The platelets have anti-inflammatory properties such as histamine and serotonin, which are responsible for regenerating the lost skin cells.
What causes scabs?
Scabs do not only came from the wound after you experienced an injury or accident. There are also other instances that can cause it to exist even you are doing extra precautions to take care of your skin. Other common issues may start from acne, eczema, cracking of the skin, insect bites, and chickenpox.
Of all these common causes, acne is one of the evidence that has been hard to deal. You might hear other people say that you should not remove the scab that forms when your acne or pimples erupted. Can you imagine what will happen if you peel it off? Keep reading!
Is it advisable to remove the scab?
Most people are trying to remove the scab most especially if they feel the itch. However, you need to be aware that picking up this dry, rough skin interferes with the healing process. As soon as you do it, you will also be removing the regenerated cells that are starting to grow to replace the dead skin tissues.
Aside from that, this part might leave a scar to your skin if you’ll pick it prematurely. The itchy feeling on the affected area is a typical reaction of your skin. You should wait for the scabs to be peel off on its own. Usually, it may take about two weeks or more for it to be removed. You will just be surprised that a new skin is created, and the scab is completely gone.
Can you get the scab wet?
Getting the scab wet can be unavoidable if we need to take a bath. The water might flow through the affected area that you can’t cover. So, you are now worrying if it will harm or infect the skin. You don’t have to because getting the scab wet will not interfere the healing process.
Keeping it moist could increase the rate of the blood cells to replace the dead skin tissues and regenerate a new one. Based on the study of the American Academy of Dermatology, it aids in the faster growth of new skin, causing the healing process to accelerate. Furthermore, keeping it moist can also prevent it from leaving a scar on the area. One of the solutions to moisten the scab is by applying petroleum jelly on the upper surface. Though it has several benefits, the crust can still prevent the new cells from forming because it is dry. Therefore, you don’t have to worry if this part of your skin gets wet accidentally.
Ways to Promote the Faster Healing of Scabs
The body works mysteriously to treat scabs naturally even we don’t do something on it. However, if you don’t have the patience to wait for it to be completely eliminated, you may take other techniques to accelerate the healing process positively.
You can include these tips in your routine since they are just easy to follow. If you are conscious of getting a scab on your skin, use these ideas to help you treat it with ease. Check them out!
1. Always keep your scab clean.
Scabs may look irritating, but they should be kept clean. Do not be afraid to wash it with antibacterial and physician-approved soap. For acute injuries, you may seek for doctor recommendation about the best product to use that will not cause irritation to the affected area and should be safe for your skin.
Make sure to scrub it gently when washing. Remember that you should not rub this part too much or else, it might irritate or remove the scab. If it happens, the healing process will slow down because it needs to start all over again.
2. Avoid removing the scab.
As mentioned, you should leave the scab to peel off naturally no matter how itchy it feels. Doing it might lead to infection, and it would interfere with the healing process.
3. Cover the scab with a bandage.
Covering the affected part can prevent the bacteria from invading the forming clot. Therefore, it is advisable to cover it as soon as the wound is still fresh. It prevents the irritation that may occur once you accidentally bumped the scab in a hard surface that may cause it to be accidentally peeled off.
4. Keep it away from the sun exposure.
The radiation exhausted by the sun can cause inflammation of your skin. The scab will then look reddish which means that it gets irritated. Although it is hard, its texture cannot control the heat of the sun. Therefore, it is essential to stay inside your home during the rebuilding process.
5. Eat nutritious foods.
Of course, for your skin to easily get healed, you have to supply it with enough nutrients. Healthy diet aids in creating a new skin, so you have to make sure that the foods you eat contain essential minerals such as vitamin K, vitamin C, and calcium.
Things to Ponder
It is essential to remember that scabs have benefits that aid in the healing process of the wound. It may be a gross for some people, yet it is helpful. Nobody likes its physical look, but when you realize how useful it is, you’ll inevitably forget to remove it prematurely. Picking it may cause the healing process to take longer than expected. Wait for it to be removed naturally if you want to get rid of it. And please, you should resist the temptation to peel it off no matter you feel that itchy feeling that invites you to do so! Instead, apply petroleum jelly on the affected part to moisten the scab and reduce the itch.
Scabs are a well-known solution that serves as an organic band-aid to your wound. It protects the affected part against foreign bodies that might infect your wound. It is a beneficial layer that prevents the bacteria from entering through the pus which is the sensitive part of the cut.
It is more rewarding to wait for it to peel off naturally. If you are conscious on your skin, you also have to remember that removing it can leave a scar that you will surely hate your entire life. Agree?
Make sure you bring these insights with you to prevent the occurrence of another problem. Now, you already know what to do if you or your kids are wounded. Let the blood cells do their work underneath your skin. Be patient, and you will not notice your skin is completely healed.
Now that you are aware of these facts, will you still pick your scab?